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Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:09 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

At the Astrotech payload processing facility on north Vandenberg Air Force Base, pre-launch testing of Glory continues. The “limited performance tests” and a solar array illumination test have been completed. Fueling of the spacecraft with its attitude control propellant is planned for early next week.

At the launch pad, Stage 0 of the Taurus XL rocket was hoisted atop the elevated launch stand on Jan. 17. Stages 1, 2 and 3 are in Orbital Sciences Hangar 1555 on north Vandenberg and are scheduled to be moved to the launch pad next week on Jan. 25.

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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