Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

April 24, 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: May 2, 2002 (under review)
Launch Window: 2:54:58 - 3:04:58 a.m. PDT

On April 18, the Aqua spacecraft was mated atop the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle at NASA's Space Launch Complex 2 located on North Vandenberg Base. The Aqua spacecraft batteries were charged and a state of health check performed on Apr. 20. The Flight Program Verification was performed on Monday, Apr. 22. This is a combined composite electrical test and flight sequence test, the final major test prior to launch. The vehicle's mechanical and electrical systems were actuated during the simulated plus count.

During the test, an unexpected spacecraft/vehicle interface electrical problem was found creating an undesired secondary grounding path precluding this portion of the test from being performed. The undesired circuit this created was disabled upon reconfiguring the interface.

In addition, a second issue arose. Three of the four spacecraft battery temperature sensors were reading incorrectly. It has been determined that a pair of ground support equipment cables was not connected in a proper manner. All the suspect cables were re-connected this morning and continuity checks are now underway. The Flight Program Verification will be re-performed tomorrow, Thursday, Apr. 25. Some impact to the launch date is anticipated and the remaining schedule of activities to prepare for launch is currently under review.

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

At SLC-4W, the Titan II/G-14 launch vehicle's initial "power-on" test was conducted on Tuesday, April 9 and routine vehicle checkout and prelaunch preparations continue on schedule. The booster was erected on the launch pad Apr. 1.

The NOAA-M spacecraft is at the Lockheed Martin plant in Sunnyvale, Calif. and is planned for shipment to Vandenberg on Thursday, Apr. 25. It will be prepared for launch at a NASA spacecraft processing facility on North Vandenberg Air Force Base. The spacecraft's apogee kick motor processing activities were successfully performed Apr. 16 - 18. The payload fairing is scheduled to arrive on May 9.

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: 2:56:14 - 2:56:26 a.m. EDT

The Contour spacecraft has been shipped from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD and will arrive at KSC tonight to begin final checkout and preparations for launch. The spacecraft's electrical ground support and test equipment began arriving at KSC yesterday.

The Contour Mission Readiness Review will be held at the Applied Physics Laboratory in Baltimore on May 15.

The Boeing Delta II launch vehicle second stage arrived at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Monday, Apr. 1 and is undergoing checkout at Delta launch vehicle Hangar AO. The Delta first stage arrived at Cape Canaveral on Apr. 15 and is at Hangar M.

At Space Launch Complex 17, erection of the Delta booster is planned to begin on May 28. A pre-vehicle-on-stand (Pre-VOS) review continues to be scheduled for May 21 at the Boeing facility in Huntington Beach, CA.

Status reports are available at:


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