Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Nov. 7, 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: No earlier than November 22, 2002
Launch Window: 10:29 p.m. - 11:09 p.m. EST

The TDRS-J spacecraft is at the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 in the KSC Industrial Area. Additional testing of the TDRS-J single access antenna was determined to be unnecessary and loading of the fuel and oxidizer began on Tuesday. The activity has been going well and was completed today. Encapsulation of the spacecraft into the Atlas payload fairing is tentatively scheduled for next week.

At Pad A on Launch Complex 36, the vehicle's Wet Dress Rehearsal was completed successfully on Wednesday, Nov. 6. This is a countdown with the vehicle fully fueled with liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen and RP-1 propellants. The final test will be the Composite Electrical Readiness Test (CERT) which occurs after TDRS-J has been mated to the launch vehicle. This will verify that the vehicle and spacecraft are operating on an integrated basis.

The Simulated Flight test (Sim Flight) was successful on Oct. 25. This is an electrical test of the vehicle systems during simulated powered flight from launch through spacecraft separation.

NASA and Lockheed Martin are assessing the failure of an upper stage turbo pump that occurred during testing at the vendor. It is associated with a different launch system but the upper stage engine is similar to what is on AC-144. Some additional time is necessary to complete the analysis, so the launch is now scheduled for no earlier than Nov. 22. NASA and Lockheed Martin are optimistic that AC-144 will be cleared for launch.

Mission: Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite / Cosmic Hot Interstellar Spectrometer
Launch Vehicle: Boeing Delta II with Dual Payload Attach Fixture (DPAF)
Launch Pad: SLC-2W, Vandenberg Air Force Base
Launch Date: December 19, 2002
Launch Window: 4:45 - 5:30 p.m. PST

At the Astrotech Space Operations Payload Processing Facility, ICESAT battery conditioning starts today and will last 12 days. The two-day spacecraft fueling operation begins Nov. 18. The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System functional test and a solar array illumination test have been successfully completed. The instruments on ICESAT have been developed by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) under a contract with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Also at Astrotech, CHIPSAT has successfully completed spacecraft functional testing. It is being installed on the Payload Adapter Assembly and Payload Adapter Fitting today. "Install before flight" items and removal of "red tag" items begins on Friday, Nov. 8.

Meanwhile, at Space Launch Complex 2, the power-on testing of the Boeing Delta II was completed successfully. The main propulsion system leak checks are underway and will be completed on Friday. On November 14, a Crew Certification (Crew Cert) will be held. This is a countdown to exercise the launch team and the first stage will be loaded with liquid oxygen. A Simulated Flight (Sim Flight) which is a flight test of the vehicle's electrical and mechanical systems will follow on November 18.

The first stage of the Delta was erected on Oct. 22, the solid rocket motors were erected on Oct. 24, and the second stage was erected on Oct. 25.

There are no issues or concerns with the two spacecraft or the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle and launch is on schedule for Thursday, Dec. 19 at 4:45 p.m. PST.

Mission: Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date: No earlier than January 25, 2003
Launch Time: 3:10 p.m. - 4:08 p.m. EST

On the Pegasus launch vehicle, additional time will be necessary to check torque values on fasteners associated with the fin actuators and the thrust vector control system. The stages must be de-mated for access to these components. The ferry to KSC using the Orbital Sciences L-1011 aircraft is anticipated to occur during the third week of December. Three Flight Simulation tests are planned at KSC prior to launch.

Processing of SORCE, built by the Orbital Sciences Space Systems Group, has been going well since its arrival at the Kennedy Space Center on Oct. 26. In the Multi-purpose Payload Processing Facility (MPPF), the spacecraft Limited Performance Test, a 16-hour electrical test of the satellite was successfully completed. A solar array lighting test was also successfully performed this week and the spacecraft's batteries have been charged. There are no spacecraft issues or concerns.

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).

Status reports are available at:


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