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
are loading the sealed container with the spacecraft onto the
moving truck. The ground support equipment was loaded in separate
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.
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.
to Launch -- January 25, 2003
(as of November 25, 2002)