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George Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(321) 867-2468

Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
MISSION: Deep Impact
LAUNCH VEHICLE: Boeing Delta II 7925
LAUNCH PAD: Pad 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
LAUNCHED: January 12, 2005

The launch of the Deep Impact spacecraft occurred successfully aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket at 1:47:08.574 p.m. EST on Jan. 12. The spacecraft was brought out of safe mode on Jan. 13 and is functioning normally. Spacecraft checkout is under way. The first course adjustment maneuver is scheduled to occur as planned Feb. 11, which will be 30 days after launch.

The overall Deep Impact mission management for this Discovery class program is conducted by the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. Deep Impact project management is handled by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The spacecraft was built for NASA by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation.

MISSION: Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART)
LAUNCH VEHICLE: Pegasus XL (Orbital Sciences Corporation)
LAUNCH DATE: March 2, 2005 NET
LAUNCH WINDOW: 9:35 a.m. - 9:42 a.m. PST

The payload test team is finalizing its review of the Pegasus second-stage loads data, or G-force the DART payload may experience during launch. The additional analysis is being done to ensure mission success.

In the Orbital Sciences Pegasus hangar at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., launch vehicle processing activities have resumed. Launch is scheduled for no earlier than March 2, subject to availability of downrange tracking assets. Testing of the launch vehicle Reaction Control System (RCS) regulator is under way this week. This is being done after some minor leakage of gaseous nitrogen was detected and the regulator was repaired.

Though the payload fairing was removed, the DART spacecraft has remained mated to the Pegasus XL launch vehicle since the stand-down. The fairing is scheduled to be enclosed around DART once again on Feb. 23-24. The Pegasus XL is scheduled to be mated to the Orbital Sciences L-1011 carrier aircraft on Feb. 26.

DART was designed and built for NASA by Orbital Sciences Corporation as an advanced flight demonstrator to locate and maneuver near an orbiting satellite. The DART spacecraft weighs about 800 pounds, is 6 feet long and 3 feet in diameter. The Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL vehicle will launch DART into a circular polar orbit of 475 miles. DART project management is the responsibility of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the NASA launch management is the responsibility of the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Services Program.

MISSION: NOAA-N (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration)
LAUNCH VEHICLE: Boeing Delta II 7320
LAUNCH PAD: SLC-2, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
LAUNCH DATE: March 19, 2005
LAUNCH WINDOW: 2:22:01 - 2:32:01 a.m. PST

The NOAA-N spacecraft arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 10 a.m. PST on Jan. 13 from the Lockheed Martin plant in Sunnyvale, Calif. It was taken to NASA spacecraft processing hangar 1610 located on North Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The spacecraft was unloaded from its transporter and placed onto an assembly and test stand. It was mated to the Delta II payload attach fitting on Jan. 15. Mechanical and electrical ground support equipment was set up and the necessary connections were made with the spacecraft. Spacecraft battery conditioning is now under way.

The erection of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle at Space Launch Complex 2 began on Jan. 12 with the erection of the first stage and interstage adapter. The three strap-on solid rocket boosters were attached to the vehicle on Jan. 17. The second stage is scheduled to be hoisted atop the first stage later this week.

After launch, NOAA-N will be renamed NOAA-18 and will provide measurements of the Earth's surface and atmosphere that will be entered into NOAA's weather forecasting models and used for other environmental studies. Each day, the satellite will send data to NOAA's Command and Data Acquisition station computers, adding vital information to forecasting models, especially over the oceans, where conventional data is lacking.

The spacecraft will be turned over from NASA to NOAA after on-orbit checkout is complete. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland is responsible for NOAA-N project management. The spacecraft was built for NASA by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. The Delta II launch service is provided by the Boeing Expendable Launch Systems Company. Launch management is the responsibility of the NASA Kennedy Space Center Launch Services Program office.

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