Status Report

NASA Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report 16 June 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
June 17, 2005
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Mission: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
Launch Vehicle: Lockheed Martin Atlas V 401
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41), Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Fla.
Launch Date: August 10, 2005
Launch Window: 7:53:58 to 9:53:58 a.m.(EDT)

Power-on testing continues. On June 6, the spacecraft’s flight batteries were installed and activated. Autonomous self-testing was completed June 14. Installation of the thermal blankets is under way.

The Centaur upper stage for the Atlas V arrived at CCAFS on June 6. On June 17, it will be transported to the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at SLC- 41 and hoisted atop the Atlas stage to begin checkout. A countdown wet dress rehearsal with the launch vehicle fully fueled is scheduled in early July.

The MRO will be transported from the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to the VIF at SLC-41 in late July. It will join the Atlas V for the final phase of launch preparations. The spacecraft will undergo a functional test and a final week of integrated testing and closeouts. The MRO is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and will provide launch services for the mission with International Launch Services.

Mission: CALIPSO/CloudSat
Launch Vehicle: Delta 7420 DPAF
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 2 (SLC2), Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), Calif.
Launch Date: No Earlier than August 22, 2005

The launch of CALIPSO/CloudSat will occur aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket from NASA’s Space Launch Complex 2 at VAFB in California.

The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) spacecraft continues to undergo comprehensive checkout, which is scheduled to be completed this week. Atmospheric testing of the spacecraft’s laser was completed June 15. CloudSat is undergoing a battery trickle charge. When processing of the satellite resumes June 23, technicians will conduct battery reconditioning and spacecraft fueling. It will then be mated to the lower Dual Payload Attach Fitting. The stacking of the Boeing Delta II at SLC2 began June 14 with the hoisting of the first stage into the launcher. Attachment of the four strap-on solid rocket boosters is under way. The second stage will be hoisted into position June 20. The payload fairing was lifted inside the clean room within the mobile service tower June 13.

CALIPSO and CloudSat are highly complementary and together will provide never-before-seen, 3-D perspectives of how clouds and aerosols form, evolve, and affect weather and climate. CALIPSO and CloudSat will fly in formation with three other satellites in the A-train constellation to enable an even greater understanding of our climate system from the broad array of sensors on these other spacecraft.

Part of the NASA Earth System Science Pathfinder program, CALIPSO is a collaborative effort with the French space agency Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), Ball Aerospace, Hampton University in Virginia and France’s Institut Pierre Simon Laplace. Ball Aerospace is responsible for CALIPSO’s scientific instrument and communications suite, including the lidar and Wide Field Camera.

SpaceRef staff editor.