Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Dec. 20, 2002
Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
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: No earlier than January 11, 2003
Launch Window: 4:45 - 5:30 p.m. PST

The launch of NASA's ICESat and CHIPSat spacecraft aboard a Boeing Delta II Expendable Launch Vehicle has been postponed.

During a review of test data, a problem with an ordnance box was found. The difficulty is associated with the signal the unit provides for launch vehicle devices to unlatch and separate the payload fairing. The removal and replacement of this unit and the associated retest will take approximately two weeks.

The launch is targeted to occur no earlier than Jan. 11, 2003 pending successful completion of the work as planned.

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

At Vandenberg Air Force Base, the mating of the launch vehicle to the L-1011 aircraft and the Combined Systems Test (CST) was completed on Friday, Dec. 13. The vehicle was ferried to the CCAFS Skid Strip using the Orbital Sciences L-1011 aircraft, Tuesday, Dec. 17. The Pegasus was de-mated from the L-1011 and transported to the Multi-Purpose Payload Facility at Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, Dec. 18. Fairing removal occurred on Thurs., Dec. 19. Three Flight Simulations are planned prior to launch. One involves the Pegasus launch vehicle on Dec. 22, the remaining two flight simulations on Jan. 3 and Jan. 8 involve both the Pegasus and the SORCE spacecraft.

Mating of the spacecraft to the Pegasus is currently scheduled for Jan. 5 and fairing installation activities begin on Jan. 15. The integrated vehicle will be transported to the runway at CCAFS and mated to the L-1011 aircraft on January 22. Also that day, Combined Systems Test #2 is scheduled. This includes the SORCE spacecraft, the Pegasus launch vehicle and the L-1011.

Meanwhile, at KSC in the MPPF, testing and validation continues to be performed on SORCE. A communications test with the Hartebeesthoek tracking station in the Republic of South Africa is scheduled for Fri., Dec. 27.

SORCE is a Principal Investigator-led mission managed by the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP). The SORCE project is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The Orbital Sciences Space Systems Group built the spacecraft and the instruments were built by LASP.

Status reports are available at:


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