ST5 Mission Set for Launch
1 Feb 2006
(Source: Kennedy Space Center)
The Space Technology 5 mission is being prepared at Vandenberg Air Force Base for a no earlier than March 6th launch. The three ST5 microsatellites will be launched into Earth orbit with an Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL launcher.
ST5 is an airborne launch with a target drop time of 06:02 PST. Possible twilight effect because launch window opens during morning twilight and payload will be placed in a 2,800-mile-high orbit.
NASA reports the spacecraft closeouts are complete. The fairing was cleaned and inspected with a black light for any contamination. Quality control contamination samples were taken from the craft. The right half of the fairing was installed FEB 15. Installation of the left half of the fairing was completed FEB 17. The Pegasus/ST5 combination was scheduled for mating to the transporter on on FEB 20. Transportation to the runway for mating to the L-1011 carrier aircraft is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 24. An integrated launch vehicle/spacecraft combined systems test and an ST5 state-of-health check is scheduled for Feb. 25.
The mission will test new technologies for magnetosheric science as well as study the Earth's magnetosphere.