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25-Apr-03 | Update

At SLC-17B, destacking operations for SIRTF are set to begin on Monday, 28 April. Contrary to an earlier report on this site, the launch vehicle’s first stage and seven of its nine booster motors will remain in place for use by MER-B. This seems to imply that two of the GEM-46 motors are suffering from delaminated nozzles, though official reports have stated only one motor was suspect. The Delta second stage must be removed in order to replace it with one with the proper attach fitting for a three-stage flight (and possibly also with a different pressure bottle configuration). MER-B is now set to launch on 25 June, no sooner than 10 days after the launch of MER-A. (NASA ELV Status Report, 25-Apr-03)


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