13 May 2004
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
SPACECRAFT AND EXPENDABLE VEHICLES STATUS REPORT
May 13, 2004
Kennedy Space Center
LAUNCH VEHICLE: Delta II Heavy
LAUNCH PAD: SLC-17B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
LAUNCH DATE: July 30, 2004
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 pre-launch testing.
Testing of the spacecraft's radio system uplink and downlinks through the KSC/JPL interface with the Deep Space Network (MIL-71) has been successfully completed. Autonomy testing continues. This verifies MESSENGER's ability to operate on its own when not in direct contact with Earth. Installation of thermal blankets has been completed as required on the schedule up to this time.
The review to determine the readiness to begin stacking the launch vehicle is scheduled to occur May 19. The assembly of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle on Pad 17-B is currently scheduled to begin on June 18 with the stacking of the first stage.
The launch period for MESSENGER extends through Aug. 13 of this year. MESSENGER was built for NASA by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.