Status Report

NASA Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report 23 January 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
January 24, 2009
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Mission: NOAA-N Prime
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7320
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 2, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Launch Date: Feb. 4, 2009
Launch Window: 2:22:01 – 2:32:01 a.m. PST

The Flight Program Verification, an integrated test of the Delta II and NOAA-N Prime, was successfully completed Jan. 22. This is the last major test before launch. Checkout of the spacecraft’s communications and telemetry systems is currently under way.

The payload fairing is scheduled to be installed around the spacecraft on Jan. 27. Loading of the Delta II second stage with hypergolic propellants is scheduled to occur on Jan. 31.

There are no significant issues or concerns, and the launch remains scheduled for Feb. 4.

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. 23, 2009
Launch Time: 1:51 a.m. PST (7 min., 30 sec. launch window)

In processing activities on the Taurus launch vehicle in Building 1555 on north Vandenberg, thermal blanket and avionics subsystem installation is under way. Stage 1 is planned to be mated to Stage 2 between Jan. 24 and Jan. 26. Flight Simulation No. 2 is currently planned for Jan. 27. Flight Simulation No. 3 is currently planned for Feb. 11.

Stage 0, the stage providing the initial liftoff thrust, will be hoisted into position at the launch pad on Jan. 30. The spacecraft will be encapsulated into the payload fairing on Feb. 7. The spacecraft is planned to be integrated with the Taurus third stage on Feb. 3. Finally, the payload/upper launch vehicle integrated stack is planned to be hoisted atop Stage 0 on Feb. 16.

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. EDT

Testing of the Kepler spacecraft instruments is complete. Compatibility tests with the Deep Space Network are under way. A Kepler mission scenario test is scheduled for Jan. 24-25.

Launch preparations for the Delta II rocket continue on schedule at Pad 17-B. Loading the first stage with liquid oxygen as a leak check, as well as to serve as a countdown demonstration and certification for the launch team, was successfully completed Jan. 19. A flight simulation exercising the electrical and mechanical systems of the rocket as they are to operate during the flight after liftoff was successfully conducted the following day.

Routine testing to flight qualify the Delta II for the upcoming launch is continuing. The Kepler spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at Pad 17-B and be attached to the Delta II on Feb. 18.

Previous status reports are available at:

SpaceRef staff editor.