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Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:11 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

At the Astrotech payload processing facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base, prelaunch processing of the Glory spacecraft continues. Fueling of the spacecraft with its attitude control propellant is complete. On Jan. 26, the Glory spacecraft was mated to the payload cone, which is a vehicle interface payload attach fitting, in preparation for encapsulation into the payload fairing at Astrotech on Feb. 3-4.

Taurus XL Stages 1, 2 and 3 were moved from Orbital Sciences Hangar 1555 to the launch pad on Jan. 25. Glory will be attached to the Taurus XL third stage on Feb. 6 soon after the spacecraft arrives at the launch pad. The fully integrated “stack” will later be hoisted atop the Taurus XL Stage 0, currently planned to occur on Feb. 15.

The ELaNa CubeSat secondary payloads arrived at Vandenberg on Jan. 24. Within their self-contained deployer, they will be taken to the pad on Feb. 6 and integrated with the Taurus XL.

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.

Project management for Glory is the responsibility of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The launch management for the mission is the responsibility of NASA’s Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va., is the launch service provider to Kennedy of the four-stage Taurus XL rocket and is also builder of the Glory satellite for Goddard.

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