Mon, Apr 21, 2003
Booster Problems Cited
NASA managers have decided to postpone the launch of SIRTF
(Space Infrared Telescope Facility) aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket
until no earlier than mid-August 2003.
The delay will allow engineers enough time to change out one of
the nine solid rocket motors attached to the Delta II rocket, which
had multiple delaminations within the layers of material that
comprise the engine-nozzle exit-cone liner.
"There simply is not enough time to remove and replace the
rocket motor to support a SIRTF launch in advance of the Mars
Exploration Rover-B launch window," said Karen Poniatowski,
Assistant Associate Administrator for Launch Services at NASA
The upcoming launch dates of the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER A
and B), also on Delta II rockets, are June 6 and June 25,
respectively. The MER-A mission, originally scheduled for May 30,
was recently rescheduled to June 6 due to a potential problem with
cabling on the spacecraft.
The launch of the Galaxy Evolution Explorer mission, or GALEX,
is on schedule for launch on a Pegasus rocket on April 28.
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