Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Dec. 5, 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. EST

NASA's TDRS-J Tracking and Data Relay Satellite was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral at 9:42 p.m. aboard a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA rocket. The on-time liftoff occurred from Pad A at Launch Complex 36. The burns of the Atlas and Centaur stages were nominal. Spacecraft separation occurred at 10:12 p.m. Contact with TDRS-J was made at 10:41 p.m. when the satellite passed over NASA's Canberra tracking station in Australia.

During the next eight days, a series of orbit raising maneuvers will boost the 7,039-pound satellite into a geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth's equator.

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

The ICESAT/CHIPSAT payload was rolled out of the Astrotech Space Operations Payload Processing Facility on Tuesday night, arriving at Space Launch Complex 2 located on North Vandenberg Air Force Base in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday morning. It was then hoisted atop the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle. Mechanical and electrical connections are complete and a spacecraft state of health has been performed.

The remaining major test is the Flight Program Verification scheduled for today. This will verify that the vehicle and the spacecraft are operating in an integrated manner. Work to install the two fairing halves around the spacecraft is scheduled to begin on Dec. 11 and be completed the following day, the final major activity to be performed before launch.

There are no issues or concerns with the Boeing Delta II vehicle, the ICESAT or CHIPSAT spacecraft 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: 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, re-mating of the three stages of the vehicle was completed on Dec. 2. Flight Simulation Test 2-A was successfully completed on Dec. 4 and the reaction control system (RCS) is being charged to flight pressure today. The mating of the launch vehicle to the L-1011 aircraft and the Combined Systems Test (CST) is scheduled to occur on Dec. 13.

The ferry to KSC using the Orbital Sciences L-1011 aircraft is scheduled for Dec. 17. Once at KSC, three Flight Simulations are planned prior to launch and are scheduled for Dec. 22, Jan. 3 and Jan. 8.

At KSC in the Multi-purpose Payload Processing Facility (MPPF), limited work is being performed on SORCE in anticipation of the arrival of the Pegasus. The SORCE project is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the spacecraft is built by the Orbital Sciences Space Systems Group, and the instruments are built by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).

Status reports are available at:


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