Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Dec. 4, 2008
Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
Mission: Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)
Launch Vehicle: Taurus XL (Orbital Sciences)
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 576-E, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Launch Date: No Earlier Than Jan. 30, 2009
Launch Window: TBD

The work to prepare the OCO spacecraft for launch continues to go well. Testing of the spacecraft systems and science instruments is complete. The next step is to fuel the spacecraft and perform flight battery reconditioning.

Testing and prelaunch preparations continue on the Taurus launch vehicle by Orbital Sciences in Hangar 1555 on north Vandenberg. Launch vehicle flight simulations are scheduled to begin during the third week of December.

Some additional testing is being performed on the electronics control unit (ECU) on the first stage deemed appropriate to assure the vehicle is fully flight qualified. Approximately two weeks of additional time in the schedule is necessary to accommodate the testing. The launch is now targeted for no earlier than Jan. 30 and is subject to the availability of the Western Range.

Mission: NOAA-N Prime
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7320
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 2, Vandenberg AFB
Launch Date: Feb. 4, 2009
Launch Window: 2:22:01 - 2:32:01 a.m. PST

Stacking of the Delta II rocket at Space Launch Complex 2 began this week. The first stage was installed into the launcher on Dec. 2. The three solid rocket boosters were attached around the base of the first stage the following day. The second stage will be hoisted atop the first stage on Friday, Dec. 5. Also this week, the payload fairing that will encapsulate NOAA-N prime was installed into the clean room within the mobile service tower.

NOAA-N Prime spacecraft testing and processing activities continue. Flight antenna installations are planned for Dec. 6. Instrument inspections and cleaning are scheduled for next week.

Previous status reports are available at:


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