Chandra Status Report
June 16, 1999

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

The Payload Readiness Review for the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the associated Inertial Upper Stage (IUS-27) booster was successfully completed at KSC this afternoon. The payload received a green light to proceed to the next step of launch preparations at the pad. On Friday, June 18, in the Vertical Processing Facility, Chandra will be installed into the payload canister. Then, in the darkness hours of Saturday morning, June 19, it will be transported to Pad 39-B and installed in the payload changeout room.

The installation of the Chandra/IUS combination into Columbia's payload bay is currently scheduled to occur on June 24 and will be followed the next day with the electrical connections. On June 28, the interface verification test (IVT) is scheduled to be performed. This will verify the electrical connections and the ability of the astronauts to command the payload from Columbia's flight deck.

An end-to-end test will follow on June 30. This will verify the communications path to Chandra, commanding it as if it were in space aboard Columbia. Participating are Chandra's Operations Control Center located in Cambridge, MA, Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, the IUS control facility at Sunnyvale, CA and the communications assets of both the Deep Space Network and the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) system.

The remaining milestone activity primarily involves the IUS and includes a flight readiness test on July 2, the installation of batteries for flight on July 6-7, and an IUS standalone countdown simulation on July 8.

Columbia's payload bay doors are to be closed for flight on July 17 based on the current Chandra/IUS-27 processing schedule which targets a launch on July 20.

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