Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
Glory Launch Vehicle:
Taurus XL 3110 Launch Site:
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Launch Date:
Feb. 23, 2011 Launch Time:
2:10 a.m. PST Altitude/Inclination:
440 miles/98.2 degrees
The Taurus rocket is in Orbital Sciences Hangar 1555 on north Vandenberg Air Force Base where integration and testing of the vehicle's flight hardware components continue. Work to mate Stage 1 to Stage 2 was completed Nov. 15. New flight software was then loaded aboard the Taurus launch vehicle, and a flight simulation is now under way.
The avionics system batteries are being charged, and the vehicle's reaction control system tanks are undergoing initial pressurization. Installation of the acoustic blankets to the forward end of the rocket's first stage solid propellant motor is finished. Application of the avionics system thermal blankets is also complete.
Data from the Glory mission will allow scientists to better understand the Earth's energy budget. An accurate description of the Earth's energy budget is important in order to anticipate future changes to our climate. Shifts in the global climate and the associated weather patterns impact human life by altering landscapes and changing the availability of natural resources.
The Aerosol Polarimetry Sensor instrument will measure aerosols (human-caused and naturally occurring) to determine their relative influence on the global climate.
The Total Irradiance Monitor instrument will monitor the Sun to understand short-term solar mechanisms causing energy budget changes and will contribute to the vital long-term solar record.
Previous status reports are available at: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets/status/index.html
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