Monthly Newsletter

23 January 2003

Special Countdown Issue

2 Days to Launch!

SORCE Mission Activity –

Isn’t it nice when a plan comes together! So far, so good -- the SORCE launch remains set for Saturday, January 25 from Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The launch is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. Eastern Time, 1:10 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.
Tuesday’s Flight Readiness Review at KSC went smoothly. According to Gary Rottman, there were no action items resulting from the review and things are progressing as expected.

At approximately 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning the engineering crew began transporting the integrated spacecraft and Pegasus to the launch site. The fairing is on the left side of the photo and has a protective covering that will remain in place until launch day. Photo by David Gathright.

Tentative Dates for Upcoming Events:

  • 1/21/03 Flight Readiness Review (KSC)
  • 1/22/03 SORCE/Pegasus Transported to Hot Pad
  • 1/24/03 Launch Readiness Reviews (GSFC/KSC)
  • 1/25/03 SORCE Launch (KSC)

Very early Wednesday morning the integrated spacecraft and Pegasus were transported from the high bay area to the hot pad, which is right next to the final launch site. The launch vehicle and payload were moved over the 6-mile causeway by the same large trailer that transported the Pegasus into the high bay area when it arrived from Vandenberg Air Force Base in mid December for integration.
Following are a sequence of photos showing the process for reuniting the Pegasus with the L-1011 aircraft carrier. Once the two have been joined, payload operations and testing will continue until launch.

The Pegasus (shown on the right) arrived at the hot pad early Wednesday morning before sunrise. The fairing is the gray portion on the left side above the trailer wheels. Photo by David Gathright.

The L-1011 aircraft carrier was lifted off the ground with hydraulic jacks under the wings, and then gently lowered onto the Pegasus and secured. The Pegasus is not shown in this photo.

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