[meteorite-list] Juno/GRAIL/NPP/MSL Update - August 3, 2011

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2011 16:17:15 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201108032317.p73NHFl9005774_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

Aug. 3, 2011

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
george.h.diller at nasa.gov



Spacecraft: Juno
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V-551 (AV-029)
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 41
Launch Date: Aug. 5, 2011
Launch Window: 11:34 a.m. - 12:43 p.m. EDT

During the overnight hours of July 27, the Juno spacecraft was
transported from the Astrotech payload processing facility near
Kennedy Space Center to Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station. It officially was declared to be atop the Atlas V
rocket at 10:42 a.m.

The "on-pad functional test," a stand-alone spacecraft state of health
test of Juno, successfully was conducted July 28. The "integrated
systems test" to verify the connections between the spacecraft and
the booster also was performed July 29.

The Flight Readiness Review was held July 29, and all work has been
approved to proceed toward a launch on Aug. 5. There was then a final
review, the Launch Readiness Review, on Aug. 3. At the conclusion of
this review a "go" was given to continue preparations to move the
Atlas V from the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch
Complex 41 to the pad surface on the morning of Aug. 4. However, the
weather will be reviewed before the move toward the launch pad begins
to assure no significant change in the forecast and the track of
Tropical Storm Emily.

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 7920 Heavy
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 17B
Launch Date: Sept. 8, 2011
Launch Times: 8:37:06 a.m. and 9:16:12 a.m. EDT

At Astrotech, a solar array illumination test successfully was
performed on GRAIL A and on GRAIL B on July 28. The spacecraft were
moved to a hazardous processing facility July 30 to begin
preparations for fueling. Loading of the propellants into the two
spacecraft is scheduled for Aug. 2-3.

At NASA's Space Launch Complex 17B, the Delta II successfully
completed the Combined Systems Test on July 27. This is a simulated
flight of the rocket.

GRAIL's primary science objectives are to determine the structure of
the lunar interior, from crust to core, and to advance understanding
of the thermal evolution of the moon.

Spacecraft: NPP (NPOESS Preparatory Project)
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7920
Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 2
Launch Date: Oct. 25, 2011
Launch Window: 5:47:35 a.m. - 5:57:35 a.m. EDT

At Space Launch Complex 2, work to erect and attach the three solid
rocket boosters to the first stage began July 27 and was completed
Aug. 1. The second stage will be hoisted atop the first stage Aug. 2.

Spacecraft: Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity)
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V-541 (AV-028)
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 41
Launch Date: Nov. 25, 2011
Launch Time: 10:21 a.m. EST

Functional testing of the Curiosity rover mobility system, science
instruments, and observation and camera systems is under way.

Testing of the Curiosity rover in scenarios of Mars surface operations
temporarily were suspended July 28 after two instruments on the
robotic arm were subjected to vibration greater than intended in the
testing. Preliminary analysis determined that the vibration was less
than what the instruments have been designed and previously tested to
withstand. Testing of the rover resumed July 29 without issues.

The Atlas V rocket for the mission arrived at Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station by barge July 29 and was taken to the Atlas Spaceflight
Operations Center for checkout. It will be moved to Space Launch
Complex 41 after the Juno launch. This is an Atlas V-541
configuration that will have four solid rocket boosters attached.

The rover's 10 science instruments will search for clues about
possible past life, including methane, and help determine if the gas
is from a biological or geological source. The unique rover will use
a laser to look inside rocks and release the gasses so that its
spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth.

Previous status reports are available at:

Received on Wed 03 Aug 2011 07:17:15 PM PDT

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