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Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Jan 8, 2011 9:52 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 XL 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. Stages 1, 2 and 3 have now been fully integrated. They were placed on the transportation trailer this week in preparation for moving to Pad 576-E on north Vandenberg later this month. Also this week, the launch pad was opened to begin the work to prepare it for the arrival of Stage 0, also currently in the Orbital Sciences processing hangar. It is set to be hoisted into place on the pad Jan. 18.

In other work, the Fairing Deployment System was pressurized for testing this week. At the completion of the work, the test was deemed fully successful.

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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