Status Report

NASA Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report 26 May 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
May 27, 2005
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Mission: CALIPSO/CloudSat
Launch Vehicle: Boeing Delta 7420 DPAF
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 2, Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), Calif.
Launch Date: NET, July 22, 2005
Launch Window: TBD

The CloudSat spacecraft arrived via truck at VAFB May 2 from Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation spacecraft (CALIPSO) arrived May 20 from France aboard an Antonov cargo plane. Both are being processed at the VAFB Astrotech Payload Processing Facility.

Electrical and spacecraft transmitter testing on CloudSat is complete. The CALIPSO post-arrival state-of-health checks continue, and electrical ground-support equipment is being set up for additional testing. The Wide Field Camera is scheduled for integration tomorrow with the spacecraft. CALIPSO and CloudSat will provide never-before-seen 3-D perspectives of how clouds and aerosols form, evolve, and affect weather and climate. CALIPSO and CloudSat will fly in formation with three other satellites to enhance understanding of climate systems.

Part of the NASA Earth System Science Pathfinder program, CALIPSO is a collaborative effort with the French space agency, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES); Ball Aerospace; and France’s Institut Pierre Simon Laplace. Ball Aerospace is responsible for CALIPSO’s scientific instrument and communications suite, including the lidar and Wide Field Camera. CNES provided a three-channel imaging infrared radiometer, which will monitor and command CALIPSO during its 36-month mission.

Mission: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
Launch Vehicle: Lockheed Martin Atlas V 401
Launch Pad: Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Fla.
Launch Date: August 10, 2005
Launch Window: 7:53:59 to 9:53:58 a.m. (EDT)

The MRO arrived April 30 at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Shuttle Landing Facility aboard a C-17 cargo plane. It was taken to the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (PHSF) for processing. End-to-end communications system testing with the Deep Space Network (MIL-71) ended May 21. The final functional test of the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) instrument was completed on May 24. SHARAD was provided by the Italian Space Agency. A full range-of-motion gimbal test of the MRO high-gain antenna was completed on May 25.

The Atlas V arrived March 31 at CCAFS on board an Antonov cargo plane. It was taken to the high bay at the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center. The Atlas booster stage was transported to the gantry-like Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at Space Launch Complex 41 and erected on May 6. The Centaur upper stage will arrive June 6. It will be mated to the Atlas on June 17. The MRO will be transported from the PHSF to the VIF on July 28. It will be hoisted atop the launch vehicle for final launch preparations. The spacecraft is scheduled for a functional test Aug. 1; followed by launch vehicle and spacecraft integrated testing and closeouts.

The MRO was built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems. The mission is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., for the NASA Science Mission Directorate. International Launch Services and Lockheed Martin Space Systems are providing launch services.

SpaceRef staff editor.