Monthly Newsletter

November 2002

SORCE Mission Status

Launch Date Update –
The SORCE launch date is delayed due to a potential problem with the actuators used for steering the Pegasus wings and motors. As a precaution, Orbital Sciences Corporation is in the process of refurbishing all of the Pegasus and Taurus launch vehicle actuators. The new SORCE launch date is tentatively set for January 25 at KSC, weather permitting.
Although disappointing, in the broader picture of the SORCE mission, the launch delay is minor. The important research goals remain the same and the instruments are ready for this 5-year mission. On the bright side, no one’s holiday traditions will be disturbed this season!

Orbital Sciences Activity –
Parallel to the fluctuating launch date, the preparations

Orbital employees are loading the sealed container with the spacecraft onto the moving truck. The ground support equipment was loaded in separate packages.

for transporting SORCE to KSC continued. As planned, after concluding all integration and testing at Orbital, the Pre-Ship Review occurred on October 21. This review examined the overall test program performance to ensure that all necessary tests had been successfully run on the instruments and the spacecraft. The review panel decided the team, instruments, and spacecraft were fully qualified to proceed to the KSC launch site. The review also covered plans for the SORCE launch integration and test procedures at KSC.

Immediately after the review, the Orbital/LASP team began packaging the SORCE spacecraft and the necessary Ground Support Equipment (GSE) for shipment to KSC. With miles of bubble wrap and specially made custom containers, the meticulous packers spent days making sure everything was flawlessly protected. With a ceremonial SORCE sticker applied to the chartered truck back door, the shipment left Orbital as scheduled on October 25, with LASP and Orbital personnel closely monitoring from a separate chase vehicle.

Countdown to Launch -- January 25, 2003
(as of November 25, 2002)

61 Days


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