Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

March 13, 2002
Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
Mission: Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-I
Launch Vehicle: Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA (AC-143)
Launch Pad: Launch Complex 36-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date: March 8, 2002
Launch Time: 5:59 p.m. EST

This week TDRS-I is being raised to its final orbital altitude of 22,240 miles. The spacecraft will then be allowed to drift to its checkout position at 150 degrees West longitude, over the equator south of Hawaii. On-orbit testing will then begin using NASA's TDRS system command and control facility at White Sands, NM. After checkout is complete and the satellite declared fully functional, it will be turned over by Boeing Satellite Systems to NASA for operation.

TDRS-I was successfully launched aboard a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA rocket at 5:59 p.m. on Friday, March 8 from Pad A at Space Launch Complex 36 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Spacecraft separation from the Centaur stage occurred as planned thirty minutes later at 6:29 p.m.

TDRS-I was acquired by the Indian Ocean tracking station at Diego Garcia at 6:35 p.m. The solar arrays and antennas were then successfully gradually deployed.

Mission: Earth Observing System Aqua Observatory
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7920-10L
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 2, Vandenberg Air Force Base
Launch Date: April 18, 2002
Launch Window: 2:54:58 - 3:04:58 a.m. PDT

The Aqua spacecraft is at the Spaceport Systems International (SSI) payload processing facility located on South Vandenberg Air Force Base. The spacecraft was powered-on March 8 for the Comprehensive Performance Test. A software problem was found. Corrective software has been developed and is undergoing verification testing.

At Space Launch Complex 2, leak checks of the Delta II second stage began Friday, March 8. This week, both first and second stage leak checks are underway. Guidance and control system checks are also underway.

The payload fairing will arrive at SLC-2 and hoisted into the pad clean room on the mobile service tower March 14.

The fueling of the Aqua spacecraft is tentatively planned to occur on March 23. The spacecraft will then tentatively arrive at the launch pad on the morning of April 1.

Mission: NOAA-M Polar Orbiter
Launch Vehicle: USAF Titan II
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 4 West, Vandenberg Air Force Base
Launch Date: No earlier than June 25, 2002
Launch Window: 11:22 - 11:32 a.m. PST

No change in status this week. The NOAA-M spacecraft is at the Lockheed Martin plant in Sunnyvale, Calif. and is tentatively planned for shipment to Vandenberg on Apr. 26. The spacecraft will be processed at NASA spacecraft hangar 1610 on North Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Erection of the Titan II/G-14 booster for NOAA-M will take place on April 1 after routine corrosion control and maintenance is completed at the launch pad during March.

Status reports are available at:


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