Status Report

NASA Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report 22 December 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
December 23, 2009
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Spacecraft: Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V-401
Launch Pad: Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date:  Feb. 3, 2010
Launch Window: 10:53 – 11:53 a.m. EST

The Centaur upper stage, the second stage of the Atlas V rocket, was transported from the hangar at the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center (ASOC), to the Vertical Integration Facility located at Launch Complex 41. It was then hoisted atop the Atlas first stage. Integrated testing for the Atlas V will now begin.

At the Astrotech payload processing facility, ground support equipment is being set up in preparation for placing propellants aboard the SDO spacecraft. Fuel is scheduled to be loaded aboard on Jan. 4 and oxidizer on Jan. 7. The Atlas V fairing is currently scheduled to be installed around the SDO spacecraft on Jan. 15 and then transported to Complex 41 for hoisting atop the Atlas V on Jan. 20.

Spacecraft: Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-P)
Launch Vehicle: Delta IV
Launch Pad:  Complex 37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date:  Feb. 25, 2010

With the arrival of GOES-P on Dec. 17, Boeing spacecraft engineers and technicians are beginning testing of the satellite at the Astrotech payload processing facility located near the Kennedy Space Center. Electrical testing of the spacecraft bus was completed this week. The spacecraft is now powered down for the holidays.

Testing of the instruments will begin Jan. 6. The full testing of the satellite takes approximately six weeks and involves the imaging system, instrumentation, communications and power systems. Then the satellite will be fueled with the propellant necessary for orbit maneuvers and the attitude control system. Once this is completed, the spacecraft will be encapsulated in the Delta IV payload fairing in preparation for being transported to the launch pad and hoisted atop the rocket.

The Delta IV United Launch Alliance Delta IV expendable launch vehicle will be installed into the launcher at Complex 37 in early January. GOES-P, to be launched for NASA and NOAA, is a United Launch Alliance commercial launch under a Federal Aviation Administration license.

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SpaceRef staff editor.