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Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:58 am via: NASA
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Spacecraft: Glory
Launch Vehicle: Taurus XL 3110
Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Launch Date: Feb. 23, 2011
Launch Time: 2:10 a.m. PST
Altitude/Inclination: 440 miles/98.2 degrees

The Taurus rocket is in Orbital Sciences Hangar 1555 on north Vandenberg Air Force Base where integration and testing of the vehicle’s flight hardware components continue. Avionics sub-system component installation continues. Application of the avionics system thermal blankets is nearing completion. Acoustic blankets are now being applied to the forward end of the rocket’s first stage solid propellant motor. The initial testing on the vehicle fairing’s pyrotechnic system has been finished.

Work to mate Stage 1 to Stage 2 is tentatively planned to start during the first week of November. New flight software is also planned to be loaded aboard the Taurus vehicle next week in preparation for a flight simulation planned to occur during the third week of November.

NASA has completed the work specified by the Taurus XL return to flight corrective action plan. This work was reviewed and approved by the NASA Flight Planning Board and concludes the return to flight effort for NASA missions flying on the Taurus XL. This milestone leads to the Launch Vehicle Launch Readiness Review scheduled to be held at the Kennedy Space Center on Dec. 6.

Data from the Glory mission will allow scientists to better understand the Earth’ 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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