Status Report

NASA Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report 3 June 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
June 3, 2011
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Spacecraft: Aquarius
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7320 (Delta 354)
Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 2
Launch Date: June 9, 2011
Launch Window: 7:20:13 – 7:25:13 a.m. PDT
Altitude/Inclination: 408.2 statute miles/98 degrees

At Vandenberg Air Force Base, installation of the Delta II payload fairing around the Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft was done on May 28. Spacecraft battery charging is under way. A routine spacecraft check out was conducted June 1.

The Flight Readiness Review was successfully completed on June 2. The Delta II will be loaded with its complement of storable hypergolic propellants on June 3. At this time, launch is on schedule for June 9.

The Aquarius/SAC-D mission is a collaboration between NASA and Argentina’s space agency with participation by Brazil, Canada, France and Italy. NASA’s Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida is managing the launch. United Launch Alliance of Denver, Colo., is NASA’s launch service provider of the Delta II 7320.

Spacecraft: Juno
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V-551 (AV-029)
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 41
Launch Date: Aug. 5, 2011
Launch Time: 11:39 a.m. EDT

Juno’s three solar arrays have been stowed for flight. The spacecraft is currently powered on for electrical testing.

Since its arrival, the Atlas V booster stage has been undergoing checkout in the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center (ASOC) on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It is scheduled to be hoisted into position on the launcher in the Vertical Integration Facility at Launch Complex 41 on June 13. The Atlas V-551 configuration for Juno will have five solid rocket boosters which will be attached starting June 15. The Centaur upper stage will be brought to the launch pad the last week of June.

The solar-powered Juno spacecraft will orbit Jupiter’s poles 33 times to find out more about the gas giant’s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

Spacecraft: GRAIL (Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory)
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7920 Heavy
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 17B
Launch Date: Sept. 8, 2011
Launch Time: 8:37:06 a.m. EDT and 9:16:12 a.m. EDT

GRAIL spacecraft functional testing is under way. End-to-end communications system testing is being conducted with the Deep Space Network. Installation of thermal blankets is also in work.

At NASA’s Space Launch Complex 17B, prelaunch testing of the rocket began on May 20. A major powered-on test of the first and second stage hydraulic systems was completed successfully May 23-25. The Delta II launch team is now at NASA’s Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California performing pre-launch testing for the Aquarius/SAC-B launch. The next major launch vehicle test at Cape Canaveral for GRAIL will be first stage propulsion and pneumatic system functional checks which are scheduled to begin June 15.

GRAIL’s primary science objectives will be to determine the structure of the lunar interior, from crust to core, and to advance understanding of the thermal evolution of the moon.

Spacecraft: Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity)
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V-541 (AV-028)
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 41
Launch Date: Nov. 25, 2011
Launch Time: 10:21 a.m. EST

At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, installation of the solar arrays on the cruise stage is continuing and a functional test also is under way.

The Atlas V for the Mars Science Laboratory will arrive this summer. The Atlas V-541 configuration being used for Mars Science Laboratory will have four solid rocket boosters attached.

The rover’s 10 science instruments will search for signs of life, including methane, and help determine if the gas is from a biological or geological source. The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release the gasses so that its spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth.

Previous status reports are available at:

SpaceRef staff editor.