Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Nov. 14, 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 December 4, 2002
Launch Window: 9:42 p.m. - 11:22 p.m. EST

The TDRS-J spacecraft is undergoing final checkout at the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 in the KSC Industrial Area. Encapsulation of the spacecraft into the Atlas payload fairing is scheduled for Nov. 20 and the spacecraft will go to the pad on Nov. 22.

At Pad A on Launch Complex 36, the final test will be the Composite Electrical Readiness Test (CERT) on Nov. 25 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.

NASA and Lockheed Martin continue to assess the failure of an upper stage turbo pump that occurred during testing at the vendor. While the pump in question is not from an Atlas launch vehicle, it is similar to what is on AC-144. More time is still necessary to complete the analysis, so the launch is now targeted for Dec. 4. NASA and Lockheed Martin remain optimistic that AC-144 will be cleared for launch in the next several days.

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 started Nov. 8 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. The Payload Adapter Assembly and Payload Adapter Fitting were installed onto the spacecraft Nov. 8. CHIPSAT mating to the Reduced-Height Dual Payload Attach Fitting (RH DPAF) was completed on November 12 and mating of the upper cone/cylinder to the lower cone of the RH DPAF is underway today.

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 Boeing Crew Certification (Crew Cert) and liquid oxygen loading 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.

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: 3:09 p.m. - 4:09 p.m. EST T-0: 3:14 p.m. EST

On the Pegasus launch vehicle, the three stages of the vehicle have been de-mated. The electrical boxes containing the fasteners associated with the fin actuators and the thrust vector control system have been removed and returned to the vendor. The fasteners will be re-torqued. They will be returned to Orbital for reinstallation on the vehicle next week. The stages are to be re-mated the first week of December and will be followed by a set of flight simulations. The Combined Systems Test is currently scheduled to occur on December 15. The ferry to KSC using the Orbital Sciences L-1011 aircraft is anticipated for the third week of December, expected to occur not later than December 21. Three Flight Simulation tests are also 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). Due to launch delay, no work has been conducted over the past week but will resume on a limited basis next week. 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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