[meteorite-list] Juno/GRAIL/NPP/MSL Update - August 15, 2011

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2011 14:32:45 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201108162132.p7GLWjQS012161_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

Aug. 15, 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

The Juno spacecraft was launched successfully aboard the Atlas V
rocket on Aug. 5, 2011, at 12:25:00.146 p.m. EDT. The spacecraft is
in good shape and planned post-launch system verifications and
state-of-health checks are under way.

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, the GRAIL A and GRAIL B were separately weighed on Aug.
9, then installed together on the payload adapter ring Aug. 10. GRAIL
was placed inside the payload transportation canister on Aug. 12.
GRAIL is now scheduled to be moved to launch Pad 17B at Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station no earlier than Aug. 18. This will allow
a spacecraft review currently under way to be completed. There is
ample time in the schedule to complete the necessary tasks at the pad
before launch on Sept. 8. Once at the pad, GRAIL will be hoisted atop
the Delta II 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: 2:48:01 a.m. - 2:57:11 a.m. PDT (9 min. 10 sec.)

At Space Launch Complex 2, the Delta II first and second stages and
the nine solid rocket boosters are fully integrated at the pad.
Testing is under way.

The NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) spacecraft is scheduled to arrive
at Vandenberg on Aug. 30.

NPP represents a critical first step in building the next-generation
of Earth-observing satellites. NPP will carry the first of the new
sensors developed for this satellite fleet, now known as the Joint
Polar Satellite System (JPSS) to be launched in 2016. NPP is the
bridge between NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) satellites and the
forthcoming series of JPSS satellites. The mission will test key
technologies and instruments for the JPSS missions.

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

At Kennedy Space Center's Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility,
functional testing of Curiosity is complete. Work is under way to
begin stowing the rover's components including the remote sensing
mast, robotic arm, wheels and mobility system.

The Atlas V rocket for the mission is at the Atlas Spaceflight
Operations Center on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Atlas and
Centaur stages are undergoing initial checkout before going to the
Vertical Integration Facility at Launch Complex 41 on or about Sept.
7. This is an Atlas V-541 configuration that will have four solid
rocket boosters attached.

The rover's 10 science instruments will search for signs of 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 Tue 16 Aug 2011 05:32:45 PM PDT

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