Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

March 27, 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 Aqua project continues to evaluate a battery cell concern that has postponed planned fueling of the spacecraft. The amount of launch schedule delay is under review.

At Space Launch Complex 2, the operation to hoist the payload fairing into the gantry was completed on Monday, Mar. 20. On Mar. 22 interface checks were performed through the fairing between SLC-2 and spacecraft ground support equipment.

The launch vehicle's cryogenic systems and the launch team underwent a successful "crew certification" on Mar. 19. Liquid oxygen was loaded into the first stage and a simulated countdown was performed to exercise the blockhouse and launch pad crews. Additionally, a Simulated Flight Test was performed on Mar. 21. The launch vehicle systems were checked out by performing a flight simulation to verify the flight program software and to validate the booster sequence of events during ascent. On Mar. 25, the first stage was fueled with RP-1, a highly refined kerosene fuel, and leak checks of the booster were successfully performed.

The testing of the Aqua spacecraft batteries continues. The decision on whether to proceed with fueling the spacecraft will be made on Monday, April 1 following a meeting to evaluate the test results. Once this determination has been made, a definitive launch date can be established.

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

The Titan II/G-14 booster for NOAA-M will be transported to SLC-4 West on Saturday, Mar. 30 and erected on the launch pad Monday, Apr. 1. Routine corrosion control and maintenance was completed at the launch pad this week as planned.

The NOAA-M spacecraft is at the Lockheed Martin plant in Sunnyvale, Calif. and is tentatively planned for shipment to Vandenberg on Apr. 25. The spacecraft will be processed at NASA spacecraft hangar 1610 on North Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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

The spacecraft's solid propellant motor will arrive at KSC on Tuesday, Apr. 2 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 Apr. 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.unch Complex 17, erection of the Delta booster is planned to begin on May 29.

Status reports are available at:


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