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:
2:09:43 a.m. PST Altitude/Inclination:
440 miles/98.2 degrees
At the Astrotech payload processing facility on north Vandenberg Air Force Base, prelaunch processing of the Glory spacecraft continues. Activities to encapsulate the satellite into the payload fairing are under way. Soon after Glory's arrival at the launch pad on Feb. 5, it will be attached horizontally to the Taurus XL third stage. The fully integrated "upper stack" consisting of the encapsulated Glory spacecraft with stages 1, 2 and 3 will later be hoisted atop the Taurus XL Stage 0, currently planned for Feb. 15.
The ELaNa CubeSat secondary payloads within their self-contained deployer also will be taken to the pad this weekend and integrated with the Taurus XL.
Flight Simulation No. 3 involving the upper stack is planned for Feb. 8. The Combined Systems Test on Feb. 17 will test the entire launch vehicle once the upper stack has been integrated with Stage 0.
Data from the Glory mission will allow scientists to better understand how the sun and tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols affect Earth's climate. Both aerosols and solar energy influence the planet's energy budget -- the amount of energy entering and exiting Earth's atmosphere. An accurate measurement of these impacts is important in order to anticipate future changes to our climate and how they may affect human life.
Project management for Glory is the responsibility of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The launch management for the mission is the responsibility of NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va., is the launch service provider to Kennedy of the four-stage Taurus XL rocket and is also builder of the Glory satellite for Goddard.
Previous status reports are available at: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets/status/index.html
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