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Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:29 am via: NASA
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Spacecraft: Glory
Launch Vehicle: Taurus XL
Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Launch Date: November 22, 2010
Launch Time: 2:09 a.m. PST
Altitude/Inclination: 440 miles/98.2 degrees

The Taurus XL “0″ stage, which serves as the initial booster for liftoff of the rocket, arrived on June 7 at Orbital Sciences Hangar 1555 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to begin processing. Receiving inspections are now under way. No anomalies have been noted so far.

The 0 stage joins the other three stages of the Taurus XL vehicle in the hangar which are derivatives of the Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL rocket. Those stages are undergoing electrical buildup and testing. The UHF communications antenna arrived early last week and is being attached now. Ordnance installation on the second stage is also under way.

The Glory spacecraft is currently scheduled to arrive at Vandenberg on Oct. 7 to begin processing for launch.

Data from the Glory mission will allow scientists to better understand the Earth’s energy budget. An accurate description of the Earth’s energy budget is important in order to anticipate future changes to our climate. Shifts in the global climate and the associated weather patterns impact human life by altering landscapes and changing the availability of natural resources. The Aerosol Polarimetry Sensor instrument will measure aerosols (human-caused and naturally occurring) to determine their relative influence on the global climate. The Total Irradiance Monitor instrument will monitor the Sun to understand short- term solar mechanisms causing energy budget changes and will contribute to the vital long-term solar record.

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