WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS FOR WEEK ENDING 24 OCTOBER 2003:
GRAVITY PROBE B LAUNCH STATUS
The GP-B spacecraft is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Saturday, December 6, 2003 at approximately 5:52 PM PST.
The following activities were completed at VAFB this past week:
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE OPERATIONS
- In preparation for installation of the solar arrays which will begin next week, the dewar has been closed off and sealed. The dewar is 96% full of superfluid liquid helium and maintaining a temperature of 1.66 Kelvin.
- The Forward Equipment Enclosure in undergoing final preparations for launch configuration.
- All other space vehicle preparation activities at Vandenberg are proceeding on schedule, as planned.
Photos: The top image is a 'doctored' photo of a Boeing Delta II launch vehicle, with the solid rocket boosters installed, standing on the launch pad. This is the way the vehicle will look (with the faring on top) when the Mobile Service Tower (MST) is pulled back for launch. Right now, the MST surrounds the entire launch vehicle, and the solid rocket boosters can only be seen from inside the MST, as shown in the second photo. Click on the thumbnail of either photo to view view it full size.