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Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:11 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 is in work. Installation and testing of the vehicle’s C-band transponder systems continue. The Ground Operations Review was held at Vandenberg on Dec. 9. This meeting evaluated the readiness of the spacecraft processing facilities to receive the Glory spacecraft next month and to begin the prelaunch processing activities.

After the holidays, Pad 576-E on North Vandenberg will be opened to prepare it for the arrival of Stage 0 that will be transported from Orbital Sciences Hangar 1555. It is currently planned to be hoisted into place at the pad on Jan. 18.

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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