Status Report

NASA Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report 8 Jan 2010

By SpaceRef Editor
January 8, 2010
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Spacecraft: Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V-401
Launch Pad: Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date:  Feb. 9, 2010
Launch Window: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. EST

The mating of the Centaur stage to the Atlas was delayed several days before the holiday break by high wind causing more time to be consumed than the contingency days which were available. As a result, the launch of the Solar Dynamics Observatory is being rescheduled to Feb. 9 if Space Shuttle Endeavour launches as planned on Feb. 7. Current processing continues to go well for both the Atlas V and for SDO.

At Launch Complex 41, integrated testing of the Atlas and Centaur stages of the Atlas V is continuing. On Jan. 20, the launch vehicle will be transported from the Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad in preparation for the wet countdown dress rehearsal to be conducted later that day. This will be a full countdown launch vehicle test exercise with the entire launch team and the rocket fully fueled with liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen, and RP-1. The payload does not participate in this test.

At the Astrotech payload processing facility, fueling operations are under way this week. Oxidizer was loaded into the spacecraft on Jan. 5, and fuel is being loaded aboard today. The Atlas V fairing is currently scheduled to be installed around the SDO spacecraft on Jan. 21, and then transported to Complex 41 for hoisting atop the Atlas V on or about Jan. 26.

Spacecraft: Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-P)
Launch Vehicle: Delta IV
Launch Pad:  Complex 37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date: No Earlier Than Feb. 25, 2010

While most of the spacecraft was uncovered prior to the holidays, uncovering of the individual spacecraft instruments and subsystems is under way today. Associated testing is beginning. Testing of the spacecraft bus has been completed. The full testing of the satellite takes approximately six weeks and involves the imaging system, instrumentation, communications and power systems. Next, the satellite will be fueled with the propellant necessary for orbit maneuvers and the attitude control system. Once this is completed, the spacecraft will be encapsulated in the Delta IV payload fairing in preparation for transport to the launch pad and hoisted atop the rocket.

On Jan. 5 work began to mate the second stage of the Delta IV with the first stage in the Horizontal Integration Facility located at Complex 37. On Jan. 12, the rocket will be transported to the launch pad. It will be installed into the launcher on Jan. 13. The first of two solid rocket boosters will be attached on Jan. 14, and the second booster the following day on Jan. 15.

GOES-P, to be launched for NASA and NOAA, is a United Launch Alliance commercial launch under a Federal Aviation Administration license.

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SpaceRef staff editor.