Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Oct. 24, 2002
Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
Mission: Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-J
Launch Vehicle: Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA (AC-144)
Launch Pad: Launch Complex 36-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date: November 20, 2002
Launch Window: 10:36 - 11:16 p.m. EST

The TDRS-J spacecraft arrived at the Kennedy Space Center at 6:10 a.m. last Thursday, Oct. 17, and was taken to the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility -2 in the KSC Industrial Area. Testing of the satellite is now underway. Loading of the fuel and oxidizer is scheduled to begin next week on Oct. 28. The operation to encapsulate the spacecraft into the payload fairing begins Nov. 7.

At Pad A on Launch Complex 36, the next major milestone is the Simulated Flight test (SimFlight) on Oct. 25, an electrical test of the vehicle systems during simulated powered flight from launch through spacecraft separation. To follow will be the vehicle's Wet Dress Rehearsal on Nov. 6, a countdown with the vehicle fully fueled with liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen and RP-1 propellants. The TDRS-J satellite will be mated with the launch vehicle at the pad on Nov. 12 and followed on Nov. 13 with the Composite Electrical Readiness Test (CERT). This will verify that the vehicle and spacecraft are operating on an integrated basis.

The Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA launch vehicle arrived at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station from Denver, Colo., on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 8:20 a.m. aboard an Antonov 124 aircraft. The Atlas stage with its Rocketdyne MA-5A two-chamber booster engine and sustainer engine was erected on Pad 36-A on Oct. 9. The Centaur stage with its pair of Pratt and Whitney RL-10 engines was hoisted atop the Atlas on Oct. 11. The initial power application to the vehicle occurred on Monday, Oct. 14.

This is the 24th and final Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA model launch vehicle (no solid rocket boosters) and has a 100% success rate.

Mission: Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date: mid-December 2002
Launch Time: 3:09 - 4:09 p.m. EST T-0: 3:14 p.m. EST

SORCE, built by the Orbital Sciences Space Systems Group, is at their spacecraft manufacturing facility in Dulles, Va. SORCE has satisfactorily completed space environment tests and is undergoing final preparation for shipment to Florida. The spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at Kennedy Space Center to begin final processing this Saturday, Oct. 26. The SORCE project is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The instruments on the SORCE spacecraft are built by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).

The Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL launch vehicle completed its buildup and testing on Oct. 11 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The mating of the three stages was completed Oct. 15. Two Flight Simulation tests were scheduled while the vehicle is in California. Flight Simulation No. 1 was successfully completed on Oct. 11 and Flight Simulation No. 2 was completed on Oct. 17.

Additional time will be required to re-work a silicon seal associated with the interface between the Pegasus rocket and its wing area. Due to Western Range and operational support requirements, the ferry to KSC is now anticipated to occur during the second week of November with a launch occurring in mid-December. The Pegasus will ferry to Cape Canaveral using the Orbital Sciences L-1011 aircraft. Three Flight Simulation tests are also planned at KSC prior to launch.

Mission: Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite / Cosmic Hot Interstellar Spectrometer
Launch Vehicle: Delta II with Dual Payload Attach Fixture (DPAF)
Launch Pad: SLC-2W, Vandenberg Air Force Base
Launch Date: December 19, 2002 (tentative)
Launch Window: 4:09:32 - 5:32:00 p.m. PST

The ICESAT spacecraft was shipped to Vandenberg Air Force Base on Oct. 23 from the manufacturer Ball Aerospace manufacturing facility in Boulder, Colo. Upon arrival, ICESAT joined CHIPSAT at the Astrotech Space Operations Payload Processing Facility. The instruments on ICESAT were also developed by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) under a contract with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The CHIPSAT spacecraft arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Oct. 15, and was taken to the Astrotech Space Operations Payload Processing Facility and has began powered-on operational testing and flight simulation. The CHIPSAT spacecraft is functioning well and processing is going smoothly with no issues or concerns. The tests are scheduled for completion on Oct. 26.

The Delta II first stage was erected on Space Launch Complex 2 on North Vandenberg Air Force Base on Oct. 22. The solid rocket motor erection is scheduled for today, Oct. 24, and will be followed by erection of the second stage on Friday, Oct. 25. The first power-on testing is scheduled to begin next week on Oct. 30.

Status reports are available at:


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