WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS FOR WEEK ENDING 14 NOVEMBER 2003:
GRAVITY PROBE B LAUNCH DELAYED
After much review and consideration, a decision was made this past weekend to delay the launch of the Gravity Probe B space vehicle in order to fix a problem with one of the spacecraft's electronic boxes. The decision to fix this electronic box versus fly 'as-is' was very difficult for a variety of reasons. The length of postponement won't be known for about a week. Please bookmark this Web site and check back at any time for the latest information on the status of the Gravity Probe B launch and mission.
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE OPERATIONS THIS WEEKThe following activities were completed at VAFB this past week:
- With all four solar arrays installed and tested, the space vehicle was cleared up, in preparation for its move to the launch pad next week and for photographing by local press and media.
- The past Monday, about a dozen members of the local press and media put on clean room suits and took their video recorders and cameras into the space vehicle preparation room, where they photographed the space vehicle and interviewed GP-B Principal Investigator Francis Everitt, Co-PI Brad Parkinson, NASA GP-B Program Manager Rex Geveden, Lockheed Martin Manager Jeff Vanden Beukel, as well as other GP-B, NASA, and Lockheed Martin staff.
- The dewar was sealed four weeks ago at a temperature of 1.648 K. The temperature of the dewar is rising very slowly, but is expected to remain less than 1.88 K at launch time.
- All other space vehicle preparation activities at Vandenberg are proceeding on schedule
VIDEO CLIP FROM THE SPACE VEHICLE PREPARATION ROOM AT VANDENBERG
Photos: In the top photo, Gravity Probe B Principal Investigator Francis Everitt (left) and Co-Principal Investigator Brad Parkinson, dressed in clean room suits, are standing in front of the space vehicle and displaying a niobium-coated GP-B gyroscope rotor to members of the local press. In the lower photo, Francis Everitt, Brad Parkinson, Rex Geveden (NASA GP-B Program Manager and Deputy Director of the Marshall Space Flight Center) and Jeff Vanden Beukel (Lockheed Martin) are standing in front of the space vehicle and discussing the upcoming launch. Click the thumbnail of either photo to view an enlarged version.