Status Report

NASA KSC Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report 5 May 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
May 5, 2011
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Spacecraft: Aquarius
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7320
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, the solar array for the Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft was installed on April 28, and a deployment test was successfully conducted on April 29. Loading the spacecraft with its attitude control propellant is scheduled for May 10.

At NASA’s Space Launch Complex 2, the Delta II first stage will be loaded with liquid oxygen and a countdown test conducted on May 11. This will be followed on May 12 with a Simulated Flight test. This is an electrical and mechanical test of the launch vehicle’s systems that will be exercised in the same sequence as they will operate during the actual powered flight.

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
Launch Site:  Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Pad:  Space Launch Complex 41
Launch Date:  Aug. 5, 2011
Launch Time: 11:40 a.m. EDT

The Plasma Waves Instrument (WAVES) has been installed, and a deployment test successfully was conducted on May 1. Communications system end-to-end testing with the Deep Space Network and its associated tracking stations was completed this week. The work to install the three solar arrays and the associated magnetometer boom will begin on May 18.

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 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

At NASA’s Space Launch Complex 17B, the final set of three solid rocket boosters was mated to the Delta II this week. All nine of the boosters now are attached to the first stage of the rocket. The second stage currently is scheduled to be hoisted atop the first stage on May 10. The payload fairing then will be raised into the white room of the mobile service tower on May 12. The launch vehicle electrical, mechanical and propulsion system testing will begin on May 20.

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.

Previous status reports are available at:

SpaceRef staff editor.