Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Jan. 16, 2009
Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
Mission: NOAA-N Prime
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7320
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 2, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Launch Date: Feb. 4, 2009
Launch Window: 2:22:01 - 2:32:01 a.m. PST

In the early morning hours of Jan. 15, the NOAA-N Prime spacecraft was transported from the Building 1610 payload processing facility to Space Launch Complex 2. It was hoisted from the pad surface and mated to the Delta II rocket. Spacecraft 'state of health' checks are under way.

The liquid oxygen tanking test and countdown demonstration and simulated flight test have been successfully completed. The Flight Program Verification, an integrated test of the Delta II and NOAA-N Prime, is scheduled for Jan. 22. This is the last major test before launch. The fairing is scheduled to be installed around the spacecraft on Jan. 27.

Mission: Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)
Launch Vehicle: Taurus XL (Orbital Sciences)
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 576-E, Vandenberg AFB
Launch Date: Feb. 23, 2009
Launch Time: 1:51 a.m. PST (7 min., 30 sec. launch window)

In the Astrotech payload processing facility, fueling of the OCO spacecraft was completed this week as planned. The spacecraft will be placed into the payload fairing on Feb. 7.

On the Taurus launch vehicle in Building 1555 on north Vandenberg, a flight simulation test is scheduled for Jan. 19. Stage 1 is then planned to be mated to Stage 2 on Jan. 22.

Stage 0, the stage providing the initial liftoff thrust, will be hoisted into position at the launch pad on Jan. 28. The payload/upper launch vehicle integrated stack is planned to be hoisted on top of Stage 0 on Feb. 16.

Mission: Kepler
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7925
Launch Pad: 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Date: March 5, 2009
Launch Time: 10:48 p.m. EDT

Testing of the Kepler spacecraft is under way. Post-arrival state-of-health checks were finished with no issues. Completed this week were a solar array light sensor test, a solar array illumination test, and a reaction control subsystem leak test. A Kepler mission scenario test is scheduled for Jan. 24-25.

Launch preparations for the Delta II rocket continue on schedule at Pad 17-B. On Jan. 19, the first stage will be loaded with liquid oxygen as a leak check, and to serve as a countdown demonstration and certification for the launch team. A flight simulation that will exercise the electrical and mechanical systems of the rocket as they will operate after liftoff during flight will be conducted on Jan. 20.

Previous status reports are available at:


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