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Deep Impact Launch Vehicle Processing
12.14.04
14 December 2004
The launch of the Deep Impact spacecraft has been rescheduled for no earlier than Jan. 12. During a review of launch vehicle hardware, it was discovered that some components of the inter-stage adapter did not receive proper heat treatment and must be removed and replaced. The inter-stage adapter is located between the first and second stage of the rocket. A Boeing engineer reviewing an "as-built" drawing of the vehicle discovered the inter-stage had not been heat treated to a revised higher specification.

The second stage will be removed from the vehicle on Dec. 15, the inter-stage adapter removed on Dec. 16, a new inter-stage adapter installed on Dec. 17, and the second stage re-installed on Dec. 18.

At Launch Pad 17-B, the loading of liquid oxygen aboard the first stage for a leak check and a countdown launch team certification exercise occurred Dec. 13. The vehicle guidance and control system check occurs on Dec. 28. The Flight Simulation, a plus count that exercises all of the systems on the vehicle as they will occur during powered flight, is scheduled for Dec. 29.

The Deep Impact spacecraft is now scheduled to be transported to Pad 17-B on Jan. 3 and mated to the Boeing Delta II rocket. The Flight Program Verification, the major integrated test with the Delta II, occurs on Dec. 30. The Delta II payload fairing will be installed around the Deep Impact spacecraft on Jan. 7.

9 December 2004
Stacking of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle on Pad 17-B began on Nov. 22 with the hoisting of the first stage into the launcher. Hoisting of the nine strap-on solid rocket boosters, in sets of three, began with the first set on Nov. 23 and the second on Nov 29. The last set was installed on the vehicle on Dec. 1. The second stage was hoisted into position atop the first stage on Dec. 3. The payload fairing was hoisted and stowed in the mobile service tower on Dec. 6. The first power-on test occurred Dec. 7.

The next event is the vehicle guidance and control system check, which occurs on Dec. 13. The loading of liquid oxygen aboard the first stage for a leak check and a countdown launch team certification exercise is scheduled to occur on Dec. 14. The Flight Simulation, a plus count that exercises all of the systems on the vehicle as they will occur during powered flight, is scheduled for Dec. 15.

1 December 2004
The NASA Launch Services Program conducted the Launch Vehicle Readiness Review on Nov. 30. At the conclusion, Jan. 8 was firmly established as the launch date for Deep Impact and this date has been set on the Eastern Range.

The spacecraft is currently scheduled to be transported to Pad 17-B on Dec. 28 and mated to the Boeing Delta II rocket. The Flight Program Verification, the major integrated test with the Delta II, occurs on Dec. 30. The Delta II payload fairing will be installed around the Deep Impact spacecraft on Jan. 4.

24 November 2004
The stacking of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle on Pad 17-B began on Nov. 22 with the hoisting of the first stage into the launcher. Hoisting of the nine strap-on solid rocket boosters, in sets of three, began on Nov. 23 and will continue on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1. The second stage will be hoisted into position atop the first stage on Dec. 3.

18 November 2004
The stacking of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle on Pad 17-B currently remains scheduled to begin on Nov. 22.

10 November 2004
The stacking of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle on Pad 17-B will begin on Nov. 22 with the hoisting of the first stage into the launcher. Hoisting of the nine strap-on solid rocket boosters, in sets of three, is scheduled for Nov. 23, Nov. 29, and Dec. 1. The second stage will be hoisted into position atop the first stage on Dec. 3.