launch of NASA’s Aura spacecraft, the latest in
the Earth Observing System (EOS) series, has been tentatively
rescheduled for no earlier than July 8. During testing
of the Delta II launch vehicle on the pad at Space Launch
Complex 2, a helium leak was observed in the second stage
fuel tank shutoff valve. It was removed and replaced on
June 11. The retesting was successfully completed Tuesday.
An engineering review board must complete failure analysis
of the valve that was removed.
spacecraft is at the Astrotech payload processing facility
located on North Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and
the spacecraft’s batteries are currently being charged.
It is ready to be moved to Space Launch Complex 2 on Friday
pending closure of open items which are under review.
There will be an Aura state-of-health check on Monday,
June 21, with the spacecraft atop the Delta II.
Flight Program Verification, an integrated test involving
the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle and the Aura spacecraft,
is scheduled to occur on June 24. The Flight Readiness
Review is planned for July 1.
four state-of-the-art instruments will study the dynamics
of chemistry occurring in the atmosphere. The spacecraft
will provide data to help scientists better understand
the Earth’s ozone, air quality and climate change.
EOS Aura satellite, instruments and science investigations
are managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
in Greenbelt, Md. Government oversight of launch preparations
and the countdown management on launch day is the responsibility
of the NASA Launch Services Program based at Kennedy Space
Center. The launch service is provided to NASA by Boeing