[meteorite-list] NPP/MSL Update - October 14, 2011

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2011 16:39:47 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201110142339.p9ENdlvN014223_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

Oct. 14, 2011

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



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. 27, 2011
Launch Window: 2:48:01 a.m. - 2:57:11 a.m. PDT (9 min., 10 sec.)
Orbital Altitude: 512 miles

At Vandenberg Air Force Base, the NPP spacecraft was moved from the
Astrotech payload processing facility to NASA's Space Launch Complex
2 on Oct. 13 and hoisted atop the Delta II rocket. Spacecraft "state
of health" checks are scheduled on Oct. 14. The Flight Program
Verification, an integrated test involving both the Delta II and NPP,
is scheduled for Oct. 15. The CubeSat satellite carrier will be
installed onto the rocket Oct. 17. The payload fairing will be
installed around the spacecraft on Oct. 19.

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 Launch Complex 41, the Atlas V rocket was moved from the Vertical
Integration Facility to the launch pad on Oct. 12 in preparation for
the "Wet Dress Rehearsal" (WDR). During the afternoon, the RP-1 fuel,
a highly refined kerosene, was loaded aboard and leak checks were
conducted. The RP-1 will remain onboard until launch.

The WDR was conducted on Oct. 13, and all Atlas V systems were fully
tested. Liquid oxygen was loaded aboard the first stage, and liquid
oxygen and liquid hydrogen were loaded into the second stage. The
test concluded successfully, and the liquid oxygen and liquid
hydrogen were then de-tanked from the launch vehicle. The Atlas V was
set to be returned to the Vertical Integration Facility on Oct. 14.
It will be rolled out to the pad once again on Nov. 23 in preparation
for launch on Nov. 25.

In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (PHSF), integration of the
Mars Science Laboratory systems for flight continues on schedule. The
two halves of the payload fairing have arrived at the PHSF and are
undergoing cleaning in preparation for encapsulation of the
spacecraft later this month. MSL currently is set to be transported
to Launch Complex 41 on or about Nov. 2.

The MLS Curiosity rover has 10 science instruments to search for
evidence about whether Mars has had environments favorable for
microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life. 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 Fri 14 Oct 2011 07:39:47 PM PDT

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