Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Nov. 27, 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: December 4, 2002
Launch Window: 9:42 p.m. - 10:22 p.m. EST

In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2) the TDRS-J spacecraft was mated to the payload adapter on Nov. 20 and encapsulated into the payload fairing on Nov. 21. TDRS-J was transported to Complex 36 in the pre-dawn hours of Nov. 25 and hoisted atop the Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA launch vehicle on Pad A.

The final major test was completed on Nov. 26, the Composite Electrical Readiness Test (CERT). This test verifies that the vehicle and spacecraft are operating in an integrated manner.

The NASA Flight Readiness Review for AC-144/TDRS-J was successfully completed on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

On launch day, Dec. 4, the countdown will begin at 12:52 p.m. The mobile service tower, or gantry, will be removed from around the Atlas IIA launch vehicle at 6:29 p.m. Cryogenic tanking operations for the Atlas and Centaur stages will begin at 7:56 p.m. Launch is scheduled at 9:42 p.m. at the opening of a 40-minute launch window that closes at 10:22 p.m.

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

At the Astrotech Space Operations Payload Processing Facility, the fueling of the ICESAT spacecraft was completed on Nov. 18. The satellite was mated to its Payload Attach Fitting on Nov. 20. ICESAT and the upper Payload Attach Fitting were also mated to the cone of the Dual Payload Attach Fitting (DPAF) on Nov. 22. The ICESAT spacecraft will be transported to the launch pad early next week.

Also at Astrotech, CHIPSAT spacecraft has completed all functional testing and is also ready for its transport to the launch pad next week. 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 was completed the following day.

Meanwhile, at Space Launch Complex 2, the Simulated Flight (Sim Flight) that is a flight test of the Delta II electrical and mechanical systems was successfully completed on Nov 18. Boeing is currently installing special instrumentation on the RH DPAF and making final preparations for the arrival of the payload on Dec. 3. The single remaining test is the Flight Program Verification on Dec. 5 to verify that the vehicle and spacecraft are operating in an integrated manner. The two fairing halves are scheduled for installation around the vehicle on Dec. 11-12.

There are no issues or concerns with the Boeing Delta II vehicle and the 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: January 25, 2003
Launch Time: 3:10 p.m. - 4:08 p.m. EST T-0: 3:15 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 were removed and returned to the vendor. The fasteners were re-torqued and have successfully passed vibration and environmental testing. The fasteners were returned to Vandenberg Air Force Base from Orbital Sciences and were reinstalled on the vehicle. The stages are to be re-mated next week and will be followed by a set of flight simulations.

The Combined Systems Test (CST) 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 on or about Dec. 17. 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, only minor 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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