Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

June 27, 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 launch of the NOAA-M Polar Orbiter from NASA's Space Launch Complex 4 West occurred successfully on Tuesday, June 24. Liftoff of the USAF Titan II occurred at 11:23:03.538 a.m. (PDT). Spacecraft separation occurred at 11:29:35 a.m. (PDT), inserting the spacecraft into a near-polar Sun-synchronous orbit 450 nautical miles above the Earth.

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

The NASA Flight Readiness Review (FRR) was held on June 26. The purpose of this review was to obtain concurrence to load the second stage of the launch vehicle with propellants on June 27. The NASA FRR cleared all open issues with the following exception. The payload fairing installation operation began on June 25 and was halted when an interference was encountered between the acoustic support structure of the fairing and the de-spin weight attached to the third stage. The root cause of the anomaly was determined to be a design flaw. The resolution of this problem is to install a shorter replacement strut on the acoustic shelf in order to gain the proper clearance. This issue has not had an impact on the July 1 launch date.

The NASA Launch Readiness Review is scheduled for June 29. The purpose of this review is to obtain concurrence to enter into the countdown on Sunday, June 30.

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:


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