Status Report

NASA Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report 20 February 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
February 23, 2009
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Mission: Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)
Launch Vehicle: Taurus XL (Orbital Sciences)
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 576-E, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Launch Date: Feb. 24, 2009
Launch Time: 1:51:30 a.m. PST

At the launch pad on Feb. 18, the Taurus XL launch vehicle upper stack, consisting of stages 1, 2 and 3 with the encapsulated OCO spacecraft, was hoisted atop Stage 0. Also, a launch countdown dress rehearsal was conducted.

A Combined Systems Test, an integrated electrical test of the entire launch vehicle working together with the OCO spacecraft, is scheduled for Friday. The Launch Readiness Review is scheduled for Feb. 22. The call to stations for the launch team is 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 23. At this time, there are no issues that would prevent launch.

Mission: Kepler
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7925
Launch Pad: 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Date: March 5, 2009
Launch Time: 10:48:43 p.m. EST

The Kepler spacecraft was attached to its upper-stage booster on Feb. 16. The integrated stack was installed into the transportation canister and placed on the payload transporter on Feb. 18. Kepler was moved to Launch Complex 17 on Feb. 19 and currently is in a staging facility. Due to inclement weather consisting of high winds, spacecraft integration to the Delta II vehicle was postponed. Mating of the spacecraft to the Delta II rocket is scheduled to occur over the weekend.

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: Under Review
Launch Time: TBD

NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, left Northrop Grumman’s facility in Redondo Beach, Calif., on Feb. 17 via truck and arrived at the Astrotech Facility in Titusville, Fla., near Kennedy Space Center on Feb. 19.

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, arrived at the facility on Feb. 13. The spacecraft was uncrated and transferred to a hazardous processing facility 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 Centaur stage is scheduled to arrive at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Friday. Offloading and transport to the Astrotech facility is scheduled for Saturday.

Previous status reports are available at:

SpaceRef staff editor.