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Comet Explorer On The Pad

CONTOUR - the Comet Nucleus Tour is slated for launch July 1 on board NASA planetary workhorse the Delta II. Launch is scheduled for a 12 second window that opens at 2:56:14 EDT (06.56 GMT)
KSC - June 19, 2002
The Contour spacecraft, mated to an upper stage booster, was transported from SAEF-2 to Pad 17-A early this morning. The move began at 2:15 a.m. and the arrival at the pad occurred at 4:30 a.m. Contour was hoisted atop the Delta II at 7:50 a.m.

The mating of the spacecraft to the upper stage booster, or Delta third stage, was performed at SAEF-2 on Monday, June 17.

The Flight Program Verification, a simulated flight test of the launch vehicle and the integrated spacecraft, is scheduled for June 21. This combined composite electrical test and flight sequence test will be the final major test prior to launch. The vehicle's mechanical and electrical systems are to be actuated during the simulated plus count.

The loading of Contour with hydrazine fuel was completed on June 7 and a "wet" spin balance test with fuel aboard was completed on June 11. A "dry" spin balance without fuel aboard was completed June 1.

In a summary of other launch vehicle preparations at Space Launch Complex 17, erection of the Delta first stage booster was performed on May 28. The solid rocket boosters were attached around the base of the first stage on May 29. The launch vehicle second stage was hoisted atop the first stage on May 31.

The fairing was hoisted into the mobile service tower's clean room on June 5. A Simulated Flight test of the launch vehicle was conducted on June 13. A crew certification exercise for the Boeing console operators who load the liquid oxygen aboard the Delta first stage was performed on Friday, June 14. This included a checkout of the liquid oxygen propulsion system.

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Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins
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Comet Mission To Launch July 1
Laurel - Jun 14, 2002
Contour will provide the first detailed look at the differences between these primitive building blocks of the solar system, and answer questions about how comets act and evolve as they speed toward the sun.


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