Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

March 20, 2002
Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
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 under review
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 Comprehensive Performance Test was successfully completed last Friday, Mar. 15. The spacecraft was powered-on and top-off of the battery charge was completed on Monday, Mar. 18. The Aqua project is evaluating a battery cell concern that has delayed the planned fueling of the spacecraft from Mar. 23 to no earlier than Mar. 26. The amount of launch schedule slippage, if any, is currently under review.

At Space Launch Complex 2, the first half section of the payload fairing was erected on Monday, Mar. 18. The second half is anticipated to occur today, weather permitting. Fairing erection was rescheduled to this week due to high wind at Vandenberg last week. After the second fairing half is in place, interface checks will be performed through the fairing between SLC-2 and spacecraft ground support equipment. This is currently planned for Thursday, Mar. 21.

The Center Director Launch Vehicle Launch Readiness Review (CDLVLRR) was held on Friday, Mar. 15 at KSC. At the conclusion, there were three open items remaining for further action. It will be necessary to resolve one of these items before Aqua spacecraft fueling activities occur. Further engineering analysis is needed to evaluate the environment that the Aqua spacecraft may encounter following Delta first stage main engine cutoff (MECO).

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 24, 2002
Launch Window: 11:22 - 11:32 a.m. PDT

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 April 25. 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.

Mission: CONTOUR (Comet Nucleus Tour)
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7425
Launch Pad: 17-A Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date: July 1, 2002
Launch Window: 2:57:12 - 2:57:24 a.m. EDT

The CONTOUR Ground Operations review was held at KSC on Mar. 13 to assess the readiness of the SAEF-2 spacecraft checkout facility and the ability to meet all associated support requirements.

The spacecraft's solid propellant motor will arrive at KSC on April 1 and be processed prior to the arrival of CONTOUR. The spacecraft is currently at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and will arrive at KSC on April 25 to begin final checkout and preparations for launch.

At Space Launch Complex 17, erection of the Delta booster is planned to begin on May 29.

Status reports are available at:


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