Status Report

Mars Exploration Rover (MER-B) Status 13 June 2003  

By SpaceRef Editor
June 13, 2003
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MISSION: Mars Exploration Rover (MER-B/Opportunity)

  • LAUNCH VEHICLE: Delta II Heavy
  • LAUNCH PAD:  17-B
  • LAUNCH DATE:  June 25, 2003 NET
  • LAUNCH TIME:  12: 38: 16 a.m. / 1: 19: 19 a.m. EDT

Mating of the spacecraft to the upper stage booster, the Delta’s third stage, was completed on Thursday in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (PHSF). Today the spacecraft is being placed into its transportation canister in preparation for going to the launch pad. That is scheduled to occur before dawn on Tuesday, June 17.

Meanwhile, at Pad 17-B, preparations are under way for the Simulated Flight test of the Delta II launch vehicle to occur sometime within the next few days. This is a test that activates the Delta’s mechanical and electrical systems during a simulated flight of the vehicle to verify how they will perform during ascent. A decision on the final launch date is expected on Monday after the test has been completed.          

The MER-B vehicle’s first stage is on Pad 17-B. Erection of the nine solid rocket boosters was completed May 22. The second stage was hoisted atop the first stage on May 29.  Encapsulation of the spacecraft into the payload fairing atop the Delta II is currently planned for June 21.

SpaceRef staff editor.