15 Apr 2004
(Source: Kennedy Space Center)
SPACECRAFT AND EXPENDABLE VEHICLES STATUS REPORT
April 15, 2004
Kennedy Space Center
LAUNCH VEHICLE: Delta II Heavy
LAUNCH PAD: SLC-17B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
LAUNCH DATE:? July 30, 2004 (NET)
LAUNCH WINDOW: 2:17:44 a.m. - 2:17:56 a.m. (EDT)
MESSENGER is at the Astrotech Space Operations facilities near Kennedy Space Center, where it is undergoing prelaunch testing. Testing of the spacecraft's radio system uplink and downlinks through the KSC/JPL interface with the Deep Space Network (MIL-71) continues. Autonomy testing is also continuing. This verifies MESSENGER's ability to operate on its own when not in direct contact with Earth. Installation of thermal blankets continues.
The spacecraft was moved from its current location in the hazardous processing facility, where it has been since arrival, to an adjacent non-hazardous payload processing facility on Tuesday. The remainder of its final assembly and testing will be completed there. The spacecraft will return to the hazardous processing facility when ready for fueling, spin balance testing and mating to the upper stage.
The erection of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle on Pad 17-B is currently scheduled to begin on June 18 with the erection of the first stage.
MESSENGER was built for NASA by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.