Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

May 15, 2009
Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
Mission: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LRO/LCROSS)
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V
Launch Pad: Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Date: No earlier than June 17, 2009
Launch Window: TBD

NASA decided to move the LRO/LCROSS from a June 2 window to a June 17 window so as to allow the LCROSS team additional time to mitigate a potential thrust disturbance associated with the Atlas V Centaur fill/drain valves. The Centaur is being used in a way that has never been done before. While the Centaur hardware is designed and built to reliably perform its purpose of launching spacecraft, LCROSS is using the spent Centaur as a lunar impactor. This reuse has posed technical challenges which the LCROSS team has had to address.

At Launch Complex 41, the Atlas V launch vehicle was rolled from the Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad in preparation for the wet dress rehearsal that is under way today. The Atlas V is being fully loaded with propellants including liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen and RP-1 fuel. The launch vehicle will be rolled off the pad and returned to the Vertical Integration Facility on Saturday, May 16.

At the Astrotech payload processing facility, LRO/LCROSS is being encapsulated into the Atlas V payload fairing today. The spacecraft will be moved to the launch pad for integration with the Atlas V no earlier than May 21.

Mission: Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-O)
Launch Vehicle: Delta IV
Launch Pad: Launch Complex 37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Date: June 2009
Launch Window: TBD

On the Delta IV at Launch Complex 37, the three linear shape charges which are to be modified have been removed from the rocket. Meanwhile, data from the second wet dress rehearsal and the flight program verification that followed are undergoing the customary review. However, there appear to be no significant concerns.

At the Astrotech Space Operations Facility, the GOES-O spacecraft is enclosed in the payload fairing. The spacecraft remains in excellent health, and is ready to be moved to the launch pad no earlier than June 6.

NASA has contracted with Boeing to build and launch the GOES-O spacecraft. The NASA Launch Services Program at Kennedy is supporting the launch in an advisory role. NASA spacecraft project management for GOES-O is the responsibility of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. After launch, once Boeing and NASA have completed on-orbit checkout and the spacecraft is operational, it will be turned over to NOAA.

Previous status reports are available at:


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