Opportunity Prepares for Launch
18 Jun 2003
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center
MISSION: Mars Exploration Rover (MER-B/Opportunity)
LAUNCH VEHICLE: Delta II Heavy
LAUNCH PAD: 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
LAUNCH DATE: June 25, 2003 NET
LAUNCH TIME: 12:27:31 a.m. / 1:08:45 a.m. EDT
The MER-1 rover, Opportunity, mated to the upper stage booster and contained within its payload transporter, rolled out of the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility on Tuesday morning, June 17 at 1:58 a.m. It arrived at Pad 17-B at 4:30 a.m. and was hoisted atop the Boeing MER-B Delta II Heavy launch vehicle at 9:15 a.m.
The spacecraft electrical umbilical connections were established last night. A spacecraft state of health check is under way today. The integrated vehicle/spacecraft Flight Program Verification test will follow on Thursday. This will demonstrate the ability of the spacecraft and the launch vehicle to work together during the terminal countdown and flight. The Simulated Flight Test of the Delta II vehicle has been successfully completed.
Installation of the fairing around the spacecraft is scheduled to occur on Saturday, June 21. Fueling of the Delta second stage with its complement of storable hypergolic propellants is planned for Monday, June 23.
The Flight Readiness Review (FRR) will be held on Saturday, June 21 in the Mission Briefing Room at KSC. Pending successful completion of this review, launch is scheduled for June 26. There are no significant issues or concerns at this time.