Status Report

MER Status Week Ending June 28, 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
June 30, 2003
Filed under , , ,

We’re waiting. The launch window for Opportunity opened almost a
week ago, but right now we’re still on the ground in Florida. The
problem is with our launch vehicle. It has a layer of insulation
ó made out of cork, believe it or not ó that protects the
skin of the rocket from being heated too much as it ascends through
the dense lower part of the Earth’s atmosphere. Some of this
insulation came unglued from the rocket’s skin, and they’ve got to
replace it. This is pretty low-tech stuff, gluing cork to metal…
sometimes even rocket science isn’t rocket science. But it’s got to
be done right, and we can’t fly until everybody is 100% convinced
that it’s safe to do so. They’re working as fast as they can out on
the launch pad, and all we can do is be patient.

So we wait.

SpaceRef staff editor.