Status Report

NASA Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report 13 March 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
March 13, 2009
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Mission: Kepler
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7925
Launch Pad: 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Date: March 6, 2009
Launch Time: 10:49 p.m. EST

The Kepler telescope was launched on March 6, 2009, at 10:49:57.465 p.m. EST. The spacecraft was acquired by the Deep Space Network’s Goldstone tracking station in California at 12:11 a.m. on March 7.

Kepler now is undergoing checkout by engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a process called “commissioning” that takes approximately 60 days. The telescope will then be turned over to the NASA Ames Research Center for science operations.

Mission: Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-O)
Launch Vehicle: Delta IV
Launch Pad: 37-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Date: No earlier than April 28, 2009
Launch Time: 6:24 – 7:24 p.m. EDT

The latest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, or GOES-O, arrived at Kennedy Space Center on March 3. It was shipped from its manufacturing plant in El Segundo, Calif., aboard an Air Force C-17 cargo plane.

The satellite, developed by NASA for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, was transported to the Astrotech facility in Titusville, Fla.

On March 4, technicians removed the satellite from its carrier and placed it on a test stand to begin approximately six weeks of final testing of the imaging system, instrumentation, communications and power systems.

On Feb. 25, the United Launch Alliance Delta IV core vehicle was erected at Launch Complex 37. The two solid rocket boosters were attached on Feb. 27 and Feb. 28. The spacecraft is scheduled to be transported to the launch pad on April 14 and integrated with the Delta rocket the following day.

Boeing Launch Services is responsible for the launch of the GOES-O mission, NASA’s Launch Services Program is supporting in an advisory role.

Mission: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LRO/LCROSS)
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V
Launch Pad: Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Date: No Earlier Than May 20, 2009
Launch Time: 4:38 – 5:28 p.m. EDT

NASA now is targeting May 20 for launch instead of April 24 after another Atlas V government launch, also on Launch Complex 41, experienced technical problems and was delayed.

NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS arrived at the Astrotech facility in Titusville, Fla., near Kennedy Space Center, on Feb. 19. It is now undergoing checkout and prelaunch preparations. The spacecraft is managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, arrived at the Astrotech facility on Feb. 13. The spacecraft was uncrated and transferred to Astrotech the same day, where covers were removed and technicians performed a black-light inspection. The spacecraft’s solar arrays were attached and deployed, and a spacecraft activation test was conducted on Feb. 15. The Deep Space Network end-to-end test was completed last week. LRO and LCROSS will be integrated in mid-April. LRO is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

The Centaur stage of the Atlas V arrived at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Feb. 20. It was offloaded and transported to the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center facility on Feb. 21. The launch vehicle fairing halves arrived at Astrotech on Feb 26. The Atlas payload fairings were moved from Astrotech’s north encapsulation bay into the facility’s spin bay on March 3.

Previous status reports are available at:

SpaceRef staff editor.