Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

May 1, 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 4, 2002
Launch Window: 2:54:58 - 3:04:58 a.m. PDT

Preparations are on schedule for the launch of Delta/Aqua on Saturday, May 4 at 2:55 a.m. PDT. The liftoff will occur from NASA's Space Launch Complex 2 West located on North Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Fueling is underway today of the Delta second stage with Aerozine 50 and Nitrogen Tetroxide. The Flight Program Verification was successfully completed on Thursday, Apr. 25. 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.

The launch vehicle and spacecraft ordnance were installed and connected on Apr. 26. Aqua spacecraft closeouts were performed the following day. The payload fairing installation was completed this week on Monday, Apr. 29. Battery cooling lines were then connected and a battery trickle charge initiated.

The Flight Readiness Review was also held on Monday with no significant issues or concerns remaining. A final Launch Readiness Review will be held tomorrow, Thursday, May 2.

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 prelaunch preparations continue and work is progressing on schedule. An issue with the vehicle's Inertial Measurement Unit is currently under evaluation. What impact to the schedule there could be, if any, is under assessment.

The NOAA-M spacecraft arrived at VAFB as planned on Apr. 25 and was taken to NASA Spacecraft Hangar 1610 on North Vandenberg. The spacecraft's apogee kick motor was installed on Apr. 30. Today spacecraft battery charging and other preparations are underway for the upcoming Spacecraft Electrical Performance and Evaluation Test (SEPET).

The payload fairing is scheduled to arrive for processing tomorrow, Thursday, May 2.

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 arrived at KSC late on April 24. The following morning it was taken to NASA Spacecraft Assembly & Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2) in the KSC Industrial Area to begin preparations for launch. The flight batteries were installed and charged. Software was installed for four days of spacecraft performance testing which is currently underway. Some solar cells that were damaged during shipping of the spacecraft have been removed and replaced.

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.

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

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

Status reports are available at:


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