Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

June 4, 2003
Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
Mission: Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A vehicle/MER-2 rover)
Launch Vehicle: Delta II
Launch Pad: Pad 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date: June 8, 2003
Launch Time: 2:05:55 p.m. / 2:44:07 p.m. EDT

The Flight Readiness Review for MER-A was held today in the Mission Briefing Room at KSC. At its conclusion, NASA managers affirmed Sunday, June 8 as the launch date for MER-A. The next major activity is the fueling of the Delta second stage on Thursday, June 5 with its complement of storable hypergolic propellants. The payload fairing was installed around the spacecraft last weekend on Saturday, May 31.

MER-A was hoisted atop the Delta II rocket at Pad 17-A on May 27. A state of health check was successfully completed on May 28. The Flight Program Verification, an integrated vehicle/spacecraft test and the final major test before the launch, was completed on May 29.

The Delta first stage for MER-A was erected on Pad 17-A on April 23. The second stage erection was completed on April 28, and the fairing was installed in the white room on April 30. The solid rocket booster erection began on May 13 with the first set of three motors being attached to the first stage. The second set of three was erected on May 14, and the final set was hoisted into position on May 15. The Simulated Flight Test, an electrical test of the vehicle's systems used during powered flight, was successfully completed on May 21.

Mission: Mars Exploration Rover (MER-B vehicle/MER-1 rover)
Launch Vehicle: Delta II Heavy
Launch Pad: Pad 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

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