Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

June 19, 2002
Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
Mission: NOAA-M Polar Orbiter
Launch Vehicle: USAF Titan II
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 4 West, Vandenberg Air Force Base
Launch Date: June 24, 2002
Launch Window: 11:22 - 11:32 a.m. PDT

The Titan II/G-14 prelaunch preparations continue to progress on schedule. At SLC-4W, the launch vehicle was loaded with its complement of fuel and oxidizer propellants on Tuesday, June 18. Two major NASA pre-launch reviews remain. They are the Flight Readiness Review on June 20 and the Launch Readiness Review on June 23. The Air Force will also hold a Launch Readiness Review on June 21.

Last Friday, June 14, the launch vehicle Integrated Systems Test (IST) was successfully completed. Like the Combined Systems Test (CST) conducted May 22, this involved both a simulated minus count and plus count, however, the spacecraft was also part of this exercise, electrically testing the vehicle/spacecraft combination during the countdown and the in-flight events.

The encapsulation of the NOAA-M spacecraft into the payload fairing was completed on June 10. A Mission Dress Rehearsal for the launch team was conducted June 12.

Mission: 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, mated to an upper stage booster, was transported from SAEF-2 to Pad 17-A early this morning. The move began at 2:15 a.m. and the arrival at the pad occurred at 4:30 a.m. CONTOUR was hoisted atop the Delta II at 7:50 a.m.

The mating of the spacecraft to the upper stage booster, or Delta third stage, was performed at SAEF-2 on Monday, June 17.

The Flight Program Verification, a simulated flight test of the launch vehicle and the integrated spacecraft, is scheduled for June 21. This combined composite electrical test and flight sequence test will be the final major test prior to launch. The vehicle's mechanical and electrical systems are to be actuated during the simulated plus count.

The loading of CONTOUR with hydrazine fuel was completed on June 7 and a "wet" spin balance test with fuel aboard was completed on June 11. A "dry" spin balance without fuel aboard was completed June 1.

In a summary of other launch vehicle preparations at Space Launch Complex 17, erection of the Delta first stage booster was performed on May 28. The solid rocket boosters were attached around the base of the first stage on May 29. The launch vehicle second stage was hoisted atop the first stage on May 31. The fairing was hoisted into the mobile service tower's clean room on June 5. A Simulated Flight test of the launch vehicle was conducted on June 13. A crew certification exercise for the Boeing console operators who load the liquid oxygen aboard the Delta first stage was performed on Friday, June 14. This included a checkout of the liquid oxygen propulsion system.

Mission: Galaxy Evolution Explorer
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL
Launch Pad: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date: No earlier than August 14, 2002
Launch Window: 7:50 - 9:50 a.m. EDT

The GALEX spacecraft is at the Orbital Space Systems Group facility in Dulles, Virginia and undergoing final preparations before shipment to KSC. The arrival date at KSC is under review.

Meanwhile, in California, the Pegasus launch vehicle continues processing at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The second of four flight simulations was successfully completed on June 17. Standard prelaunch preparations are continuing on the vehicle nose fairing.

Arrival of the Pegasus XL at KSC is being planned to occur approximately two weeks after arrival of the GALEX spacecraft.

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.