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Archive for March, 2003


27-Mar-03 | SIRTF update

Preparations for the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) continue at SLC-17B as the Delta second stage was hoisted into place on 14 March, two days later than expected in a previous update. The flight simulation and countdown test was performed on 26 March, while the first stage leak check (including first stage LOX loading) and a simulated countdown has been rescheduled for 2 April. Functional testing of SIRTF is complete, and the spacecraft will be transported to the pad for hoisting on 4 April. Launch is set for Friday, 18 April, 2003, at 4:32:49 a.m. EDT.


20-Mar-03 | THEMIS selected as MIDEX-5

NASA has selected the fifth mission of the Medium-Class Explorer (MIDEX) program, expected to launch aboard a Delta Med-Lite in 2007. It is Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms, or THEMIS, and will consist of five small, identical satellites flying in formation to track disturbances in Earth’s magnetic tail. (NASA Contract Release, 20-Mar-03)


07-Mar-03 | SIRTF arrives in Florida

The Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) arrived at the Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, 6 March. The last of NASA’s Great Observatories was transported in a three-vehicle land convoy from the Lockheed Martin plant in Sunnyvale, California, and will be prepared for launch in the clean room of Hangar AE. Meanwhile, its launch vehicle, the first Delta II-Heavy, began stacking at Pad 17B on 24 February. Main stage and solid boosters are in place, with upcoming events currently scheduled as follows (JPL Press Release, 06-Mar-03):


     

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