Chandra Status Report
July 12, 1999

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Payload prelaunch preparations continue on schedule at Pad 39-B to prepare for the liftoff of Columbia on STS-93. The Chandra X-ray Observatory and the attached Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) were each declared ready for launch at the completion of the flight readiness review held at KSC last Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Chandra operations team successfully completed their final mission dress rehearsal this weekend and is ready to support the post-launch activities. Participating in the flight simulation were Chandra's Operations Control Center in Cambridge, MA, Mission Control at Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, the Inertial Upper Stage control facility in Sunnyvale, CA, and the communications assets of both the Deep Space Network and the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System.

The separate IUS stand-alone countdown simulation was successfully completed last Friday, July 9. This put the IUS through all countdown activities as if it were launch day.

Connection flight ordnance associated with IUS separation events and for Chandra's fuel system is scheduled for Wednesday, July 14. This will be followed with payload closeouts on Thursday which continue through Saturday. This includes removal of red tag items which are items not to be flown on the payload, the disconnection of purge lines, contamination inspections, configuration checks and the taking of closeout photos.

Columbia's payload bay doors will be closed for flight on Saturday, July 17. The IUS will be powered-on July 19 during the countdown at 3:16 a.m. (L-21 hours, 20 minutes.

› Return to Chandra News 1999