Status Report

NASA Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report 22 May 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
May 22, 2009
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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: June 17, 2009
Launch Time: 3:51 p.m. EDT

At Launch Complex 41, the Atlas V launch vehicle wet dress was successfully completed on May 15. The Atlas V was fully loaded with propellants including liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen, and RP-1 fuel.

At the Astrotech payload processing facility, LRO/LCROSS was encapsulated into the Atlas V payload fairing on May 15. The spacecraft will be moved to the launch pad for integration with the Atlas V on May 27.

The Exploration Systems Mission Directorate has decided to target the LRO/LCROSS launch for a liftoff on June 17. This will allow the project team time to complete development of procedures to accommodate potential thrust disturbances caused by normal residual leakage from the Centaur fill and drain valves. The valves have been verified to be functioning properly in a manner that would not affect a standard mission, but the Centaur is being used in a way that has never been done before. While the Centaur hardware is designed and
built to reliably perform its purpose of launching spacecraft, LCROSS is using the spent Centaur as a lunar impactor. This reuse has posed technical challenges which the LCROSS team has had to address.

Mission: Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-O)
Launch Vehicle: Delta IV
Launch Pad: Launch Complex 37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Date: June 2009
Launch Window: TBD

At Launch Complex 37, Delta IV checkout and launch preparations continue. Tanker trucks are delivering liquid hydrogen to storage tanks at the pad in preparation for launch. The redesign of the linear shape charge, part of the launch vehicle flight termination system, is making good progress.

At the Astrotech Space Operations Facility, the GOES-O spacecraft is enclosed in the payload fairing. There is a cool dry purge within the fairing, and the spacecraft remains in a good state of health. A charge is also being maintained on the batteries. GOES-O will be moved to the launch pad for integration with the Delta IV on June 3 or June 4.

NASA has contracted with Boeing to build and launch the GOES-O spacecraft. The NASA Launch Services Program at Kennedy is supporting the launch in an advisory role. NASA spacecraft project management for GOES-O is the responsibility of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. After launch, once Boeing and NASA have completed on-orbit checkout and the spacecraft is operational, it will be turned over to NOAA.

SpaceRef staff editor.