Status Report

NASA Spacecraft and Expendable Vehicles Status Report 4 Jun 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
June 4, 2003
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MISSION: Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A)

  • LAUNCH PAD: 17-A
  • LAUNCH DATE: June 8, 2003
  • LAUNCH TIMES: 2:05:55 p.m. / 2:44:07 p.m. EDT

The Flight Readiness Review for MER-A was held today in the
Mission Briefing Room at KSC. At its conclusion, NASA managers affirmed
Sunday, June 8 as the launch date for MER-A. The next major activity is the
fueling of the Delta second stage on Thursday, June 5 with its complement of
storable hypergolic propellants. The payload fairing was installed around
the spacecraft last weekend on Saturday, May 31.

MER-A was hoisted atop the Delta II rocket at Pad 17-A on May 27.
A state of health check was successfully completed on May 28. The Flight
Program Verification, an integrated vehicle/spacecraft test and the final
major test before the launch, was completed on May 29.

The Delta first stage for MER-A was erected on Pad 17-A on April
23. The second stage erection was completed on April 28, and the fairing
was installed in the white room on April 30. The solid rocket booster
erection began on May 13 with the first set of three motors being attached
to the first stage. The second set of three was erected on May 14, and the
final set was hoisted into position on May 15. The Simulated Flight Test,
an electrical test of the vehicle’s systems used during powered flight, was
successfully completed on May 21.

MISSION: Mars Exploration Rover (MER-B vehicle/MER-1 rover)

  • LAUNCH VEHICLE: Delta II Heavy
  • LAUNCH PAD: 17-B
  • LAUNCH DATE: June 25, 2003
  • LAUNCH TIMES: 12:38:16 a.m. / 1:19:19 a.m. EDT

Fueling of MER-1 was completed on May 28. Spin balance testing
began the next day on May 29 and was completed May 30. Mating to the Delta
third stage (upper stage booster) took place on June 12. Transportation to
the launch pad is scheduled for June 16.

The MER-B vehicle’s first stage is on Pad 17-B. Erection of the
nine solid rocket boosters was completed May 22. The second stage was
hoisted atop the first stage on May 29.

There are no issues or concerns at this time.

MISSION: SCISAT-1/Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment

  • LAUNCH FACILITY: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
  • LAUNCH DATE: NET July 25, 2003
  • LAUNCH TIME: 10:36:55 p.m. – 11:34:04 p.m. PDT

The SCISAT spacecraft is completing final testing at the Canadian
Space Agency’s David Florida Laboratories. Arrival of the spacecraft at
Vandenberg Air Force Base is currently scheduled for June 18.

SCISAT-1 weighs approximately 330 pounds and will be placed in a
400-mile-high polar orbit to investigate processes that control the
distribution of ozone in the upper atmosphere.

Meanwhile, the Pegasus XL rocket is undergoing prelaunch
preparations at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California by Orbital Sciences

The scientific mission of SCISAT-1/ACE (Atmospheric Chemistry
Experiment) mission is to measure and understand the chemical processes that
control the distribution of ozone in the Earth’s atmosphere, particularly at
high altitudes. The data from the satellite will provide Canadian and
international scientists with improved measurements relating to global ozone
processes and help policy makers assess existing environmental policy and
develop protective measures for improving the health of our atmosphere,
preventing further zone depletion. The mission is designed to last two

MISSION: Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF)

  • LAUNCH VEHICLE: Delta II Heavy
  • LAUNCH PAD: 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
  • LAUNCH DATE: August 23, 2003

The SIRTF observatory is in NASA’s class 10,000 laminar flow clean
room at spacecraft Hangar AE awaiting its return to the launch pad in early

The launch date has been moved forward four days to August 23.

Project management of SIRTF for NASA is by the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory. The observatory was built for NASA by Lockheed Martin and Ball

SpaceRef staff editor.