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Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:52 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 Glory spacecraft arrived Jan. 11 at the Astrotech payload processing facility on north Vandenberg Air Force Base to begin processing and prelaunch checkout. On Jan. 12, the spacecraft was moved into the processing high bay, the shipping container was removed from around the spacecraft, and it was placed on a work stand. On Jan. 13, the protective covers were taken off the satellite so that testing could begin, and the solar arrays were also inspected. Limited Performance Tests to Glory are now under way.

Also Jan. 13, the two Taurus XL fairing halves were moved to Astrotech. A successful test of the fairing separation system was conducted last week.

The Taurus rocket is in Orbital Sciences Hangar 1555 on north Vandenberg where integration and testing of the vehicle’s flight hardware components continue. Work is under way at the launch pad to prepare the elevated launch stand for the arrival and hoisting of Stage 0, currently scheduled for Monday.

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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