Status Report

NASA Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report 17 February 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
February 17, 2011
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Spacecraft: Glory
Launch Vehicle: Taurus XL 3110
Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Launch Pad: SLC 576E
Launch Date: Feb. 23, 2011
Launch Time: 2:09:43 a.m. PST
Altitude/Inclination: 440 miles/98.2 degrees

At Vandenberg Air Force Base, the fully integrated “upper stack,” consisting of the encapsulated Glory spacecraft with Stages 1, 2 and 3, was hoisted atop the Taurus XL Stage 0 on the launch pad Feb. 15. The Combined Systems Test on Feb. 17 will test the entire fully integrated launch vehicle including the spacecraft.

The Flight Readiness Review was completed on Feb. 11 with no significant issues or concerns. A countdown dress rehearsal is planned for Feb. 18. The Launch Readiness Review, the final review before launch, will be conducted on Feb. 21.

Data from the Glory mission will allow scientists to better understand how the sun and tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols affect Earth’s climate. Both aerosols and solar energy influence the planet’s energy budget — the amount of energy entering and exiting Earth’s atmosphere. An accurate measurement of these impacts is important in order to anticipate future changes to our climate and how they may affect human life.

Project management for Glory is the responsibility of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The launch management for the mission is the responsibility of NASA’s Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., is the launch service provider to Kennedy of the four-stage Taurus XL rocket and is also builder of the Glory satellite for Goddard.

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SpaceRef staff editor.