Status Report

NASA Messenger Spacecraft Recieves its Sun Catchers

By SpaceRef Editor
July 1, 2004
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At Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Fla., the two solar arrays from the Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft are undergoing cleaning inspections and voltage checks in preparation for installation June 24-25.  One array will be installed each day, followed by a deployment test.  MESSENGER is scheduled to launch Aug. 2 aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket from Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. MESSENGER was built for NASA by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.

KSC Photo Link: KSC-04PD-1321

At right, technicians at Astrotech in Titusville, Fla., guide into place the second solar panel for installment on NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft.  At left is the first panel, already installed.  The two large solar panels, supplemented with a nickel-hydrogen battery, will provide MESSENGER’s power. 

KSC Photo Link: KSC-04PD-1348

At Astrotech in Titusville, Fla., technicians with The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory prepare the MESSENGER spacecraft for a move to a hazardous processing facility in preparation for loading the spacecraft’s complement of hypergolic propellants. 

KSC Photo Link:  KSC-04PD-1372

SpaceRef staff editor.