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Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:07 am via: NASA
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Spacecraft: Glory
Launch Vehicle: Taurus XL 3110
Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Launch Pad: SLC 576E
Launch Date: Feb. 23, 2011
Launch Time: 2:09:43 a.m. PST
Altitude/Inclination: 440 miles/98.2 degrees

On Feb. 5, the encapsulated Glory spacecraft was transported from the Astrotech payload processing facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base to the launch pad and electrically mated horizontally with the Taurus XL third stage. On Feb. 6, the ELaNa CubeSat secondary payloads within their self-contained deployer also were taken to the pad and integrated with the Taurus XL rocket.

Flight Simulation No. 3 involving the upper stack occurred as planned Feb. 8. The fully integrated “upper stack,” consisting of the encapsulated Glory spacecraft with Stages 1, 2 and 3, will be hoisted atop the Taurus XL Stage 0 on Feb. 15. The Combined Systems Test on Feb. 17 will test the entire launch vehicle once the upper stack has been integrated with Stage 0.

Data from the Glory mission will allow scientists to better understand how the sun and tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols affect Earth’s climate. Both aerosols and solar energy influence the planet’s energy budget — the amount of energy entering and exiting Earth’s atmosphere. An accurate measurement of these impacts is important in order to anticipate future changes to our climate and how they may affect human life.

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 Corp. 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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