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Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:38 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: 2:09:43 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. Installation and testing of the rocket’s C-band transponder systems are in work. Application of thermal insulation around the UHF communications system on the second stage continues. The Stage 0 thermal protection insulation is also being installed.

At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Taurus XL Launch Vehicle Readiness Review was held on Dec. 6. The review was very successful and keeps NASA and Orbital Sciences on track for a Feb. 23 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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