Author Topic: NASA - Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope updates  (Read 68000 times)

Online jacqmans

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NASA - Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope updates
« on: 04/12/2007 03:12 AM »
Rob Gutro                                                                                                      April 11, 2007
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
301-286-4044

RELEASE NO. 07-12

NASA’S GLAST MISSION ONE STEP CLOSER TO LAUNCH

NASA’s next major space observatory, the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST), is one step closer to unveiling the mysteries of the high-energy universe. Almost all the components have been assembled onto the spacecraft, which will undergo a review this week before environmental testing begins at the primary contractor, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in Gilbert, Ariz.

GLAST will study the universe’s most extreme objects, observing physical processes far beyond the capabilities of earthbound laboratories. GLAST’s main instrument, the Large Area Telescope (LAT), operates like a particle detector rather than a conventional telescope. It is 30 times more sensitive (and even more at higher energies) than the best previous missions, enabling it to detect thousands of new gamma-ray sources while extending our knowledge of previously unidentified sources. For example, it will study how some black holes accelerate matter to near light speed and perhaps even reveal the nature of dark matter. The other instrument, the GLAST Burst Monitor (GBM), will detect roughly 200 gamma-ray bursts per year. Together with the LAT, the GBM will enable GLAST to make gamma-ray burst observations spanning a factor of a million in energy.

"These two instruments and the spacecraft have now been integrated and are working together as a single observatory," says GLAST project manager Kevin Grady of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

"The observatory is getting ready for the final testing in the simulated environment of space, so that any problems can be fixed to ensure that it will work when we launch it," adds Kathleen Turner, the LAT program manager at the United States Department of Energy, in Germantown, Md. The Department of Energy helped build the LAT in collaboration with other institutions in the United States, France, Italy, Japan, and Sweden. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., built the GBM in collaboration with institutes in Germany.

On April 11 and 12, 2007, an independent committee of scientists and engineers commissioned by NASA will conduct a Pre-Environmental Review (PER). This committee, chaired by Mark Goans of NASA Goddard, has been monitoring the development of the mission over the past four years. This review is expected to last two days, and will make sure that all technical problems and anomalies have been resolved, and that the 4.7-ton spacecraft is ready to be "shake and baked."

Following the PER, environmental testing will begin. Each individual subsystem has already passed its own round of environmental testing, but this new set of procedures will make sure that the integrated observatory can survive the rigors of launch and the harsh conditions of space.

In the first test, called the Electro-Magnetic Interference test, operators will bombard the spacecraft with electromagnetic radiation to ensure that certain systems do not produce signals that interfere with other systems. As project scientist Steve Ritz of NASA Goddard explains, "If electrical noise from your beating heart causes a problem with your brain, you’d want to know about it."

Next, GLAST will undergo mechanical tests, which involves exposure to vibrations, shocks, and acoustic waves. The vibration test will make certain the entire spacecraft can survive the shaking of a Delta II Heavy rocket launch. With the tall spacecraft being shaken from its base, some of the appendages will be exposed to accelerations up to 15 times the force of Earth’s gravity. The shock test ensures it can survive separation from the booster.  The acoustic test examines if the craft can survive the terrific roar of a Delta II launch. Engineers will bombard the spacecraft with up to about 144 decibels of noise, louder than being in close proximity to a jet aircraft.

Finally, the team will subject GLAST to the Thermal-Vacuum test, which checks the spacecraft’s ability to withstand the vacuum of space and the extreme temperature swings it will experience as it goes in and out of sunlight during each orbit. This procedure will last about six weeks, the longest of all the environmental tests.

In mid-October, GLAST is scheduled to be flown to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on a C5 airplane. The spacecraft is scheduled to be launched into a low-Earth circular orbit no earlier than Dec. 14, 2007.

NASA's GLAST mission is an astrophysics and particle physics partnership, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, along with important contributions from academic institutions and partners in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the United States.

For more information on GLAST, please visit on the Web:


http://glast.gsfc.nasa.gov


-end

« Last Edit: 03/31/2016 08:27 AM by jacqmans »

Online jacqmans

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RE: Delta II - GLAST mission December 14, 2007
« Reply #1 on: 11/30/2007 01:41 PM »
RELEASE  07-73


NASA'S GLAST SATELLITE ARRIVES AT NAVAL RESEARCH LAB FOR TESTING


GREENBELT, Md. - NASA’s Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) has arrived at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, for its final round of testing.

The GLAST spacecraft has successfully completed two of its three environmental tests at the prime contractor, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in Gilbert, Ariz. These tests included exposure to extreme vibrations and electromagnetic fields. "We’ve completed two of the big three tests, and now we’re going to the NRL to perform the third," said GLAST project manager Kevin Grady of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

On November 26, the spacecraft began its drive across the country in a specially modified truck. GLAST arrived at NRL on November 28. At NRL, the spacecraft will undergo thermal and vacuum testing to ensure that it can survive the 90-degree F (50-degree C) temperature swings it will experience in Earth orbit.

"Although gamma rays can travel billions of light-years across the universe, they can’t penetrate Earth’s atmosphere, so we must launch our instruments into space. We need to ensure the observatory can function in the space environment, and that is the main goal of the testing about to take place," says GLAST project scientist Steve Ritz of NASA Goddard.

After GLAST finishes the thermal-vac testing, it will be trucked or flown to Cape Canaveral, Fla. There, the solar arrays and flight battery will be added to the spacecraft, and it will be fueled with propellant. The launch, aboard a Delta II Heavy rocket, is scheduled for no earlier than May 29, 2008.

GLAST will carry two instruments, the Large Area Telescope (LAT) and the GLAST Burst Monitor (GBM), to study the extreme universe, where nature harnesses energies far beyond anything scientists can achieve in their most elaborate experiments on Earth. GLAST may answer the mystery of how black holes accelerate jets of particles to near-light speed, and it may fill in gaps in our knowledge of stupendously powerful explosions known as gamma-ray bursts (GRBs).

The LAT, which works like a particle detector rather than a conventional telescope, greatly improves upon all previous gamma-ray instruments. It is more than 30 times as sensitive to faint sources, it covers a much broader range of gamma-ray wavelengths, it can locate sources much more precisely, and it can measure the arrival time of each gamma ray more accurately.

"With the LAT we will be able to pinpoint locations in the universe where matter is accelerated to extremely high-energies, shedding new light on the origin of cosmic rays," says LAT principal investigator Peter Michelson of Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. "We will also observe neutron stars and learn how they produce their lighthouse-like particle beams. The LAT will help astronomers determine the nature of hundreds of gamma-ray sources seen by previous missions, but whose nature remains shrouded in mystery. Most exciting of all, the LAT will find thousands of previously unknown gamma-ray sources."

"We expect that the GBM will detect about 200 GRBs per year," said GBM principal investigator Charles "Chip" Meegan of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "With the LAT and GBM working together, and with other satellites, we hope to understand how the gamma rays are actually produced in GRBs, and whether GRBs create high-energy gamma rays that were beyond the range of previous satellites."

From its perch in low-Earth orbit, GLAST will also test key concepts in fundamental physics, such as whether all forms of light — regardless of wavelength — travel at the same speed. It might help physicists determine the nature of dark matter by catching the gamma-ray signature of dark-matter particles annihilating one another. It might even detect gamma rays from exploding black holes.

NASA’s GLAST mission is an astrophysics and particle physics partnership, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, along with important contributions from academic institutions and partners in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the U.S.

For more information about the GLAST mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/GLAST


Offline William Graham

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RE: Delta II - GLAST mission 29 May 2008
« Reply #2 on: 11/30/2007 04:22 PM »
Launch is now scheduled for 29 May 2008 (NET).

Offline William Graham

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RE: Delta II/GLAST - 16 May 2008
« Reply #3 on: 12/16/2007 08:09 AM »
It has now been moved up to 16 May 2008 (although this does cause a range conflict with Delta IV-H/NRO L-26, currently scheduled for 15 May).

Offline Analyst

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RE: Delta II/GLAST - 16 May 2008
« Reply #4 on: 12/16/2007 09:10 AM »
Quote
GW_Simulations - 16/12/2007  10:09 AM

... a range conflict ...QUOTE]

One, probably both will slip. Always the case.

I wonder if there is a study comparing announced launch dates (a year before scheduled launch, 6 moths etc.) with actual launch dates. What is the average slip for a NASA, NRO etc mission? Depending on the launch vehicle ...

Analyst

Offline Analyst

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RE: Delta II/GLAST - 16 May 2008
« Reply #5 on: 12/16/2007 09:10 AM »
Quote
GW_Simulations - 16/12/2007  10:09 AM

... a range conflict ...

One, probably both will slip. Always the case.

I wonder if there is a study comparing announced launch dates (a year before scheduled launch, 6 moths etc.) with actual launch dates. What is the average slip for a NASA, NRO etc mission? Depending on the launch vehicle ...

Analyst[/QUOTE]

Offline William Graham

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RE: Delta II/GLAST - 16 May 2008
« Reply #6 on: 12/16/2007 09:58 AM »
Quote
Analyst - 16/12/2007  10:10 AM

One, probably both will slip. Always the case.

I wonder if there is a study comparing announced launch dates (a year before scheduled launch, 6 moths etc.) with actual launch dates. What is the average slip for a NASA, NRO etc mission? Depending on the launch vehicle ...

Analyst

I think GLAST was originally scheduled for May 2007. Delta IIs are pretty punctual, but this one's been affected by satellite problems. As for Delta IVs, let's not even go there. The average delay is measured in years, and L-26 is the most delayed D-IV to date (originally scheduled for 2005).





Offline WHAP

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Re: Delta II - GLAST mission - May 16, 2008
« Reply #7 on: 12/16/2007 08:31 PM »
In most cases, the delays are due to the spacecraft.  First flights of a new launcher are always prone to delays, but even Delta IV hasn't had too many vehicle-caused delays (except in the Heavy case).  Although Atlas had to recover from the L-30 launch this summer, every spacecraft scheduled for launch from this point on has slipped to where the delays from the RL10 issue are no longer relevant.  I think the next Atlas V launch, L-28, was originally scheduled to launch in November 2005 - not as bad as L-26, but not atypical for NRO spacecraft.
ULA employee.  My opinions do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Delta II - GLAST mission - May 16, 2008
« Reply #8 on: 12/17/2007 12:14 PM »
WHAP, does is the unofficial slogan for the NRO still: 'You can buy better but you can't pay more.'

I know the NRO does unique stuff but it can't be that amazing to justify their multi year slips and billions of cost over runs.  They deserve all the oversight they can get.

The EELV vehicles (except the D4 HLV) have not been the reason for major schedule slips.   When it comes to performance and getting off the ground both vehicles are money compared to other vehicles and their payloads.
I know they don't need it, but Crossfeed would be super cool.

Offline Analyst

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RE: Delta II - GLAST mission - May 16, 2008
« Reply #9 on: 12/17/2007 12:29 PM »
In the 1980ies (after Challenger) and before Titan 4 there has been a shortage of launchers: NRO and other satellites were sitting in cleanrooms waiting for a launcher. Now it is the other way arround: EELVs are there, working (assured access to space), but there is a shortage of payloads, in particular NRO payloads are delayed by years.

Kinda ironic.

Analyst

Offline WHAP

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Re: Delta II - GLAST mission - May 16, 2008
« Reply #10 on: 12/17/2007 06:53 PM »
Quote
wannamoonbase - 17/12/2007  6:14 AM

WHAP, does is the unofficial slogan for the NRO still: 'You can buy better but you can't pay more.'

Actually, I'm sure someone has used that slogan to apply to LM, Boeing, ULA, and every subcontractor of theirs at one time or another.
 :)
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Online jacqmans

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RE: Delta II - GLAST mission - May 16, 2008
« Reply #11 on: 02/07/2008 09:01 PM »
RELEASE: 08-036

NASA CALLS FOR SUGGESTIONS TO RE-NAME FUTURE TELESCOPE MISSION

WASHINGTON - NASA announced Thursday that members of the general
public from around the world will have a chance to suggest a new name
for the cutting edge Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, otherwise
known as GLAST, observatory before it launches in mid-2008. The
satellite will observe some of the most powerful forces known in the
universe.

"The idea is to give people a chance to come up with a name that will
fully engage the public in the GLAST mission," said Steve Ritz, the
mission's project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center,
Greenbelt, Md.

The mission's scientific objectives are to:

- Explore the most extreme environments in the universe, where nature
harnesses energies far beyond anything possible on Earth
- Search for signs of new laws of physics and what composes the
mysterious dark matter
- Explain how black holes accelerate immense jets of material to
nearly light speed
- Help crack the mysteries of the stupendously powerful explosions
known as gamma-ray bursts
- Answer long-standing questions about a broad range of phenomena,
including solar flares, pulsars and the origin of cosmic rays

"We're looking for name suggestions that will capture the excitement
of GLAST's mission and call attention to gamma-ray and high-energy
astronomy. We are looking for something memorable to commemorate this
spectacular new astronomy mission," said Alan Stern, associate
administrator for Science at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "We
hope someone will come up with a name that is catchy, easy to say and
will help make the satellite and its mission a topic of dinner table
and classroom discussion."

Suggestions for the mission's new name can be an acronym, but it is
not a requirement. Any suggestions for naming the telescope after a
scientist may only include names of deceased scientists whose names
are not already used for other NASA missions. All suggestions will be
considered. The period for accepting names closes on March 31, 2008.
Participants must include a statement of 25 words or less about why
their suggestion would be a strong name for the mission. Multiple
suggestions are encouraged.

To submit a suggestion for the mission name, visit:

http://glast.sonoma.edu/glastname

Anyone who drops a name into the "Name That Satellite!" suggestion box
on the Web page can choose to receive a "Certificate of
Participation" via return e-mail. Participants also may choose to
receive the NASA press release announcing the new mission name. The
announcement is expected approximately 60 days after launch of the
telescope.

NASA's GLAST mission is an astrophysics and particle physics
partnership, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of
Energy, along with important contributions from academic institutions
and partners in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the U.S.

For more information about the GLAST mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/glast

Offline William Graham

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Re: Delta II - GLAST mission - May 16, 2008
« Reply #12 on: 02/07/2008 09:36 PM »
The range conflict is no longer an issue, the Delta IV has been delayed to 15 July.

Offline trekkerjel

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Re: Delta II - GLAST mission - May 16, 2008
« Reply #13 on: 02/15/2008 09:42 PM »
Question on viewing these launches--if coming from Orlando, what type of traffic should I expect?  I imagine not as crowded as a Shuttle launch?  How long would it take to drive from Orlando to the Cape to view the launch, and how early should I get there?

Offline Jim

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Re: Delta II - GLAST mission - May 16, 2008
« Reply #14 on: 02/15/2008 10:14 PM »
not crowded at all

Offline MKremer

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Re: Delta II - GLAST mission - May 16, 2008
« Reply #15 on: 02/15/2008 11:56 PM »
Can't compare an average Delta-II science or DoD launch crowd (and area traffic) to something like a Shuttle or massively publicised ELV NASA mission launch.

Offline trekkerjel

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Re: Delta II - GLAST mission - May 16, 2008
« Reply #16 on: 02/16/2008 01:24 AM »
Didn't think so.  Great, so if this thing goes up May 16th, I should be in the area.  Still need to see a shuttle launch, but this should be pretty cool too, especially real close like Jetty Park.

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RE: Delta II - GLAST mission - May 16, 2008
« Reply #17 on: 03/04/2008 03:17 PM »
RELEASE: 04-08

GLAST SPACECRAFT ARRIVES IN FLORIDA TO PREPARE FOR LAUNCH

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, or
GLAST, arrived Tuesday at the Astrotech payload processing facility
near the Kennedy Space Center to begin final preparations for launch.
Liftoff of GLAST aboard a Delta II rocket is currently targeted for
11:45 a.m. EDT on May 16.

GLAST is a collaborative mission with the U.S. Department of Energy,
international partners from France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Sweden,
and numerous academic institutions from the U.S. and abroad. The
spacecraft will explore the most extreme environments in the
universe, and answer questions about supermassive black hole systems,
pulsars and the origin of cosmic rays. It also will study the mystery
of powerful explosions known as gamma-ray bursts.

The milestones to be accomplished over the next two months include
attaching the Ku-band communications antenna and the two sets of
solar arrays, a complete checkout of GLAST's scientific instruments,
installing the spacecraft's battery, and loading aboard the
observatory's propellant. These activities will be performed by
General Dynamics, builder of the spacecraft for NASA. GLAST currently
is scheduled to be transported to Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station on May 1.

The rocket that will launch GLAST is a Delta II 7920-H, manufactured
and prepared for launch by United Launch Alliance. It is a
heavier-lift model of the standard Delta II that uses larger solid
rocket boosters. The first stage is scheduled to be erected on Pad
17-B the week of March 17.

The following week, the nine strap-on solid rocket boosters will be
raised and attached. The second stage, which burns hypergolic
propellants, will be hoisted atop the first stage in late March.
Next, the fairing that will surround the spacecraft will be hoisted
into the clean room of the mobile service tower.

Engineers will perform several tests of the Delta II. In late April,
the first stage will be loaded with liquid oxygen and checked for
leaks. The following day, a simulated flight test will be performed,
testing the vehicle's post-liftoff flight events without fuel aboard.
The electrical and mechanical systems of the entire Delta II will be
exercised during this test.

Once the GLAST payload is atop the launch vehicle, a final major test
will be performed. The combined minus count and plus count test
simulates all events as they will occur on launch day, but without
propellants aboard the vehicle.

The NASA Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center is
responsible for the countdown and launch management of the Delta II
GLAST mission.

For more information about GLAST, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/glast


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RE: Delta II - GLAST mission - May 16, 2008
« Reply #18 on: 03/14/2008 02:47 PM »
STATUS REPORT: ELV-031408

EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE STATUS REPORT

Mission: GLAST (Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope)
Location: Astrotech payload processing facility
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7920-H
Launch Pad: 17-B
Launch Date: May 16, 2008
Launch Window: 11:45 a.m. - 1:40 p.m. EDT

Prelaunch preparations are under way on GLAST after the spacecraft's
arrival in Florida on March 4. The flight battery has been installed.
The "observatory comprehensive performance tests" are now under way.
Testing of the various spacecraft systems is occurring this week,
including S-band communications, control and data handling systems,
the propulsions system and the spacecraft's computers. Instrument
testing is scheduled to begin this weekend. Late next week, the two
sets of solar arrays are scheduled to be installed.

At Pad 17-B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, buildup of the Delta
II rocket is currently scheduled to begin the week of March 24 with
the hoisting of the first stage. Work to attach the nine strap-on
solid rocket boosters will follow. Stacking of the second stage is
currently planned for the first week of April.

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RE: Delta II - GLAST mission - May 16, 2008
« Reply #19 on: 03/21/2008 04:28 PM »
STATUS REPORT: ELV-032108

EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE STATUS REPORT

Mission: GLAST (Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope)
Location: Astrotech payload processing facility
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7920-H
Launch Pad: 17-B
Launch Date: May 16, 2008
Launch Window: 11:45 a.m. - 1:40 p.m. EDT

Twin solar arrays were attached to the GLAST spacecraft on Thursday,
March 20. A solar array deployment test is under way today and will
be followed by a solar array illumination test on April 2. A
continuation of the spacecraft comprehensive performance tests is
planned for next week. This will include end-to-end communications
testing through the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) system.

At Pad 17-B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, buildup of the Delta
II rocket will begin Monday, March 24, with the hoisting of the first
stage. Work to attach the nine strap-on solid rocket boosters will
follow, continuing throughout the week. Stacking of the second stage
is currently planned for April 3.

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