Status Report

NASA Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report 30 January 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
January 30, 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 Readiness Review for the Delta II and NOAA-N Prime was successfully completed Jan. 29. There are no issues or concerns toward completing final launch preparations including loading the Delta II second stage with hypergolic propellants on Saturday. There is one final review to be held on Monday, the Launch Readiness Review, to assure all is ready to pick up with the start of the launch countdown operations on Tuesday afternoon. A countdown dress rehearsal is under way today. The NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite is enclosed in the Delta II payload fairing and is ready for launch.

The preliminary weather outlook for Feb. 4 has conditions forecast to be generally favorable for launch, but becoming less favorable the following day due to an approaching low pressure system.

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)

OCO spacecraft battery conditioning begins next week in preparation for launch. Work is also under way to prepare the spacecraft to be mated to the payload attach fitting. The spacecraft will be encapsulated into the payload fairing beginning on Feb. 7.

In launch preparations for the Taurus launch vehicle, Stage 0, the stage providing the initial liftoff thrust, was hoisted into position at the launch pad Thursday.

Meanwhile, Stage 1 and Stage 2 have been integrated. The first phase of Flight Simulation No. 2 has been completed. The second phase will be completed on Feb. 5. Flight Simulation No. 3 is currently planned for Feb. 11.

The encapsulated OCO spacecraft is planned to be integrated with the Taurus third stage on Feb. 13. 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

Compatibility tests with the Deep Space Network have been successfully completed. The Kepler mission scenario test has also been finished. Also this week, sun sensor testing and an attitude determination and control subsystem test were done.

Kepler will be moved to a hazardous processing facility on Feb. 2 for fueling of the spacecraft which will last for most of the week.

At Pad 17-B, routine work to prepare the Delta II rocket for the upcoming launch continues. Work is under way to prepare the second stage of the launch vehicle to receive the Kepler spacecraft, which is scheduled for Feb. 18.

Previous status reports are available at:

SpaceRef staff editor.