Monthly Newsletter

October 2002

Orbital Sciences Activity –
Much of the Orbital team has spent the past couple weeks at LASP participating in the Mission Operations Rehearsal #1.They will also be at LASP for Rehearsal #2 in November and the final launch. These people have worked on the SORCE software, hardware, and mission development and will continue to participate in SORCE Mission Operation activities until the spacecraft is stable, with the instruments and the spacecraft performing as expected.

The instruments and spacecraft are in great shape and almost ready for flight. Engineers have completed the final post-environmental tests and comprehensive performance tests. All optical alignments are complete, and mass properties testing to determine the craft’s mass distribution were successful. A long duration tests, completed October 11th, allowed the spacecraft to run uninterrupted for 5 straight days, making contact with LASP two times per day, just like it will be doing in orbit. This serves as the final verification that both the spacecraft and the mission operators are ready for the move to the launch site. The solar array deployment tests were the final exercise before the Pre-Ship Review, which is scheduled for October 21 at Orbital. This review will examine the overall test program performance to make sure all necessary tests have been successfully run on the instruments and the spacecraft. The review panel will decide if the team is ready to proceed to the launch site for integration to the Pegasus launch vehicle.

Orbital engineers monitor the SORCE spacecraft, mounted in the Pegasus mating cradle, during Mass Properties testing.

Once all testing at Orbital has concluded and the Pre-Ship Review conducted, the SORCE spacecraft and the Ground Support Equipment (GSE) required to move, operate, and test the spacecraft will be packaged and shipped to Kennedy Space Center. On Friday, October 25, SORCE

will be transported by chartered truck, with Orbital and LASP personnel closely monitoring from a chase vehicle.

SORCE instruments with stimulus lamps during a Comprehensive Performance Test (CPT).

Kennedy Space Center Activity –
Launch preparations are underway, with Kennedy Space Center (KSC) anticipating SORCE’S arrival on Saturday, October 26. LASP engineers attended a Ground Operations Review Meeting at KSC in late September to discuss SORCE requirements and Kennedy Space Center’s ability to meet them. They reviewed the facilities, schedules, personnel, and launch operations and found everything to be very acceptable to meet the SORCE mission needs.

Once the shipment arrives at KSC, it will immediately be unpacked, and the SORCE post-ship checkout and Pegasus integration process will commence. The Pegasus launch vehicle will be mated to the spacecraft near the middle of November. A Flight/Launch Readiness Review is scheduled for November 20, and a Launch Rehearsal is planned for November 22.

Upcoming Meetings
SORCE scientists plan to present papers or attend the following 2002 - 2003 meetings:

  • NOAA Solar UV Irradiance Workshop, Oct. 28-29, Boulder, CO
  • NIST Satellite Instrument Calibration Workshop, Nov. 5-7, Gaithersburg, MD
  • EOS Investigators Working Group, Nov. 18-20, Ellicott City, MD
  • AGU Fall Meeting, Dec. 6-10, San Francisco, CA
  • AGU/European Geographic Society (EGS)/European Union of Geosciences (EUG), April 6-11, Nice, France

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