January 16, 2003
With the completion of the installation of the SORCE fairing (rocket nose-cone) on Wednesday, January 16th (see photos), the SORCE payload and launch vehicle became the “on deck” player, ready for the next “at bat” (behind the Shuttle), in the KSC launch lineup. Following a spectacular, successful Shuttle launch on Thursday, January 17th, SORCE officially moved forward as the next launch operation in the queue. Launch is now just 9 days away (January 25th)!
Remaining launch site operations are becoming fewer with each passing day. All recent tasks have been successfully completed ahead of schedule, with no issues of note. Final preparations will commence next week with the transport of the launch vehicle/payload to the “hot pad” for mate operations with the OCA (Orbital Carrier Aircraft). The move is currently scheduled for the very early morning hours of Wednesday, January 22nd. Launch vehicle integration with the OCA is typically a half-day activity. Once the integration has been completed, a Combined Systems Test (CST) will be performed. The CST is a day-long functional verification of connectivity between ground operations test hardware and the launch vehicle. This test is run from the LSST(Launch Site Support Trailer) which has been positioned adjacent to the OCA. A final functional verification of all systems will be run as a part of the launch minus 8 hour countdown activity.«Return to the Meetings/News page