Status Report

Spacecraft and Expendable Vehicles Status Report 20 Dec 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
December 20, 2002
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MISSION: Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) and the Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer (CHIPSat)

  • LAUNCH VEHICLE: Boeing Delta II with Reduced Height Dual Payload Attach Fitting (RHDPAF)
  • LAUNCH SITE: SLC-2, Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB)
  • LAUNCH DATE: January 11, 2003 NET
  • LAUNCH WINDOW: 4:45 – 5:30 p.m. (PST)

The launch of NASA’s ICESat and CHIPSat spacecraft aboard a Boeing
Delta II Expendable Launch Vehicle has been postponed.

During a review of test data, a problem with an ordnance box was
found. The difficulty is associated with the signal the unit provides for
launch vehicle devices to unlatch and separate the payload fairing. The
removal and replacement of this unit and the associated retest will take
approximately two weeks.

The launch is targeted to occur no earlier than Jan. 11, 2003
pending successful completion of the work as planned.

MISSION: Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE)

  • LAUNCH LOCATION: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS)
  • LAUNCH DATE: January 25, 2003
  • LAUNCH WINDOW: 3:10 p.m. – 4:08 p.m. EST T-0: 3:15 p.m. (EST)

At Vandenberg Air Force Base, the mating of the launch vehicle to
the L-1011 aircraft and the Combined Systems Test (CST) was completed on
Friday, Dec. 13. The vehicle was ferried to the CCAFS Skid Strip using the
Orbital Sciences L-1011 aircraft, Tuesday, Dec. 17. The Pegasus was de-mated
from the L-1011 and transported to the Multi-Purpose Payload Facility at
Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, Dec. 18. Fairing removal occurred on
Thurs., Dec. 19. Three Flight Simulations are planned prior to launch. One
involves the Pegasus launch vehicle on Dec. 22, the remaining two flight
simulations on Jan. 3 and Jan. 8 involve both the Pegasus and the SORCE

Mating of the spacecraft to the Pegasus is currently scheduled for
Jan. 5 and fairing installation activities begin on Jan. 15. The integrated
vehicle will be transported to the runway at CCAFS and mated to the L-1011
aircraft on January 22. Also that day, Combined Systems Test #2 is
scheduled. This includes the SORCE spacecraft, the Pegasus launch vehicle
and the L-1011.

Meanwhile, at KSC in the MPPF, testing and validation continues to
be performed on SORCE. A communications test with the Hartebeesthoek
tracking station in the Republic of South Africa is scheduled for Fri., Dec.

SORCE is a Principal Investigator-led mission managed by the
University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics
(LASP). The SORCE project is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
The Orbital Sciences Space Systems Group built the spacecraft and the
instruments were built by LASP.

SpaceRef staff editor.