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NASA's Glory Mission
punkboi
post Jan 11 2011, 08:18 PM
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(Press Release)

NASA'S GLORY SATELLITE ARRIVES AT VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE FOR LAUNCH

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The latest Earth-observing satellite developed by NASA, called Glory, arrived Tuesday at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in preparation for a Feb. 23 launch. Glory was transported by truck from Orbital Sciences Corporation's satellite design, production and testing facility in Dulles, Va.

Glory is NASA's next Earth-observing research mission that will improve our understanding of how the sun and airborne particles called aerosols affect Earth's climate. It will join the Afternoon Constellation or "A-train" of polar-orbiting satellites, a group that includes the Aqua and Aura satellites. Glory will carry two primary instruments, the Aerosol Polarimetry Sensor (APS) and the Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM). APS will measure aerosols in the Earth's atmosphere and will take advantage of the A-train orbit by gathering coincident data with other atmospheric science instruments. TIM will point towards the sun and continue the 32-year data record of the sun's brightness, or total solar irradiance.

"The scientific knowledge gained from Glory will have a significant impact on our understanding of natural and human influences on climate," said Hal Maring, Glory program scientist at NASA Headquarters, Washington.

On Jan. 18, Stage 0 of Orbital's Taurus XL 3110 four-stage rocket will be moved to the launch pad and hoisted into position. Stages 1, 2 and 3 will join stage 0 on the pad on Jan 25. The Glory spacecraft will be enclosed in the Taurus XL payload fairing on Feb. 4-5 and transported to the launch pad to be mated to the third stage of the rocket the following day. Once the spacecraft is integrated with stages 1, 2, and 3, the entire unit will be rotated to vertical and hoisted atop stage 0 on Feb. 15.

On Feb. 23, Glory is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex 576-E at 2:09 a.m. PST (5:09 a.m. EST). After launch, mission operators will conduct verification tests for 30 days and then begin normal data collection for a period of at least three years. Glory will fly in a low-Earth orbit of 438 miles (705 km) altitude, which is about the distance between Boston and Washington.

Glory is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Launch management is the responsibility of NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Orbital is responsible for the Glory satellite's design, manufacture, payload integration and testing, as well as spacecraft operations conducted from its Mission Operations Complex in Dulles, Va. Orbital is also responsible for the mission's launch service with its Taurus XL rocket. The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado provided and will operate the TIM instrument. Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems in El Segundo, Calif., provided the APS instrument, which will be operated by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.

For more information about NASA's Glory Mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/glory

For more information about NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/goddard


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Marz
post Mar 4 2011, 03:05 AM
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"Both the Glory spacecraft and Taurus XL rocket are ready for launch tomorrow [Friday] morning at 2:09:43 a.m. PST/5:09:43 a.m. EST. The weather forecast is 100 percent 'go' with the possibility of some fog and a low ceiling not expected to be an issue. The call to stations for the launch team is 10:20 p.m. PST/1:20 a.m. EST.

The liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is targeted for the middle of a 48-second launch window. Spacecraft separation will occur 13 minutes after launch.

Coverage of the countdown on the Glory launch blog and on NASA TV will begin on launch day at 3:30 a.m. EST. "

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/Glory/main/index.html
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OWW
post Mar 4 2011, 10:56 AM
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Launch failure. Shroud failed to separate, just like on the OCO launch.
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MahFL
post Mar 4 2011, 11:48 AM
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I just read that, pretty sad.
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PDP8E
post Mar 4 2011, 02:05 PM
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Glory and the Taurus XL are in the southern Pacific after failing to reach orbit. This is the 9th Taurus launch. Orbital Science now has 3 failures, the last two in a row, resulting in $700M of satellites sleeping with the fishes. (yikes!)


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Drkskywxlt
post Mar 4 2011, 05:07 PM
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Obviously the findings of the OCO mishap report didn't change things enough.
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elakdawalla
post Mar 4 2011, 05:14 PM
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They had completely redesigned the fairing separation system and it still failed. Summary here.


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ZLD
post Mar 4 2011, 06:15 PM
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Is cost the main interest in using the Taurus XL? I'm not really familiar with small lift carriers.
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MahFL
post Mar 4 2011, 06:23 PM
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It would be logical to use the smallest/cheapest rocket needed for the payload. Only $54m.
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ugordan
post Mar 4 2011, 09:59 PM
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QUOTE (PDP8E @ Mar 4 2011, 03:05 PM) *
Orbital Science now has 3 failures, the last two in a row


Taurus XL has two failures in a row, but it's not two successive failures for OSC.


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Frank Crary
post Mar 5 2011, 06:40 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Mar 4 2011, 05:14 PM) *
They had completely redesigned the fairing separation system and it still failed. Summary here.


We'll have to wait for the Mishap Investigation Board's report, but this isn't my understanding from the press conference. They completely replaced one part of the fairing separation system. The pressure to kick it open was from compressed nitrogen for the Glory launch, as opposed to a hot gas source for OCO. But the whole separation system is more complicated than that, and I didn't hear anything about changes to other parts of the system.
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djellison
post Mar 6 2011, 12:53 AM
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QUOTE (Frank Crary @ Mar 5 2011, 10:40 AM) *
We'll have to wait for the Mishap Investigation Board's report


I think that's excellent advice.
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SolarSystemRubbl...
post Mar 7 2011, 02:57 AM
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Even worse is the loss to the continuous irradiance measurements of the sun. This was the most accurate, best calibrated instrument ever, and overlap with other craft would have provided an uninterrupted string of solar observation going back decades. It's now likely that string will be broken, causing an irrevocable loss to climate and solar science.
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