Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

May 9, 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 Time: 2:54:58 a.m. PDT

The launch of Aqua EOS - PM from NASA's Space Launch Complex 2 West occurred successfully on Saturday, May 4. Liftoff of the Boeing Delta II rocket occurred at 2:54:58.290 PDT. Spacecraft separation occurred at 3:54 a.m. PDT inserting the spacecraft into a circular polar orbit of 438 miles.

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 prelaunch preparations continue to progress on schedule. This week the Combined Systems Engine Leak Checks are in work on the first stage and gas generator servicing and verification testing is underway on the second stage. A technical concern with the vehicle's Inertial Measurement Unit remains under evaluation but it is not clear at this time as to whether there could be any schedule impact.

The NOAA-M spacecraft arrived at VAFB on Apr. 25 and is at NASA Spacecraft Hangar 1610 on North Vandenberg. The spacecraft's apogee kick motor was installed on Apr. 30. The Spacecraft Electrical Performance and Evaluation Test (SEPET) successfully completed on Wednesday, May 8.

The fairing for NOAA-M is scheduled to arrive today to begin processing at an Air Force facility also located on North Vandenberg.

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

At SAEF-2, the CONTOUR spacecraft has successfully completed the System Performance Test to verify that all spacecraft systems are functioning to their design capabilities.

This week the Deep Space Network compatibility test is under way using facilities located at the MILA tracking station at KSC. This test verifies CONTOUR's ability to communicate with the world-wide system of deep space tracking stations operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The CONTOUR Mission Readiness Review will be held next week 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. It continues to undergo checkout at Delta launch vehicle Hangar AO without any issues or concerns. 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 will begin on Tuesday, 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:


- end -

text-only version of this release

To receive status reports and news releases issued from the Kennedy Space Center Newsroom electronically, send a blank e-mail message to To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail message to The system will confirm your request via e-mail.