Status Report

NASA Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report 19 January 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
January 19, 2005
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MISSION: Deep Impact

LAUNCH VEHICLE: Boeing Delta II 7925

LAUNCH PAD: Pad 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

LAUNCHED: January 12, 2005

The launch of the Deep Impact spacecraft occurred successfully aboard
a Boeing Delta II rocket at 1:47:08.574 p.m. EST on Jan. 12. The
spacecraft was brought out of safe mode on Jan. 13 and is functioning
normally. Spacecraft checkout is under way. The first course
adjustment maneuver is scheduled to occur as planned Feb. 11, which
will be 30 days after launch.

The overall Deep Impact mission management for this Discovery class
program is conducted by the University of Maryland in College Park,
Md. Deep Impact project management is handled by the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The spacecraft was built for NASA by
Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation.

MISSION: Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART)

LAUNCH VEHICLE: Pegasus XL (Orbital Sciences Corporation)

LAUNCH DATE: March 2, 2005 NET

LAUNCH WINDOW: 9:35 a.m. – 9:42 a.m. PST

The payload test team is finalizing its review of the Pegasus
second-stage loads data, or G-force the DART payload may experience
during launch. The additional analysis is being done to ensure
mission success.

In the Orbital Sciences Pegasus hangar at Vandenberg Air Force Base,
Calif., launch vehicle processing activities have resumed. Launch is
scheduled for no earlier than March 2, subject to availability of
downrange tracking assets. Testing of the launch vehicle Reaction
Control System (RCS) regulator is under way this week. This is being
done after some minor leakage of gaseous nitrogen was detected and
the regulator was repaired.

Though the payload fairing was removed, the DART spacecraft has
remained mated to the Pegasus XL launch vehicle since the stand-down.
The fairing is scheduled to be enclosed around DART once again on
Feb. 23-24. The Pegasus XL is scheduled to be mated to the Orbital
Sciences L-1011 carrier aircraft on Feb. 26.

DART was designed and built for NASA by Orbital Sciences Corporation
as an advanced flight demonstrator to locate and maneuver near an
orbiting satellite. The DART spacecraft weighs about 800 pounds, is 6
feet long and 3 feet in diameter. The Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL
vehicle will launch DART into a circular polar orbit of 475 miles.
DART project management is the responsibility of NASA’s Marshall
Space Flight Center and the NASA launch management is the
responsibility of the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Services Program.

MISSION: NOAA-N (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration)

LAUNCH VEHICLE: Boeing Delta II 7320

LAUNCH PAD: SLC-2, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

LAUNCH DATE: March 19, 2005

LAUNCH WINDOW: 2:22:01 — 2:32:01 a.m. PST

The NOAA-N spacecraft arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 10 a.m.
PST on Jan. 13 from the Lockheed Martin plant in Sunnyvale, Calif. It
was taken to NASA spacecraft processing hangar 1610 located on North
Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The spacecraft was unloaded from its transporter and placed onto an
assembly and test stand. It was mated to the Delta II payload attach
fitting on Jan. 15. Mechanical and electrical ground support
equipment was set up and the necessary connections were made with the
spacecraft. Spacecraft battery conditioning is now under way.

The erection of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle at Space Launch
Complex 2 began on Jan. 12 with the erection of the first stage and
interstage adapter. The three strap-on solid rocket boosters were
attached to the vehicle on Jan. 17. The second stage is scheduled to
be hoisted atop the first stage later this week.

After launch, NOAA-N will be renamed NOAA-18 and will provide
measurements of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere that will be
entered into NOAA’s weather forecasting models and used for other
environmental studies. Each day, the satellite will send data to
NOAA’s Command and Data Acquisition station computers, adding vital
information to forecasting models, especially over the oceans, where
conventional data is lacking.

The spacecraft will be turned over from NASA to NOAA after on-orbit
checkout is complete. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland
is responsible for NOAA-N project management. The spacecraft was
built for NASA by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. The Delta II
launch service is provided by the Boeing Expendable Launch Systems
Company. Launch management is the responsibility of the NASA Kennedy
Space Center Launch Services Program office.

SpaceRef staff editor.