Dear HESSI'rs -
In my last note, Orbital had pulled the rocket apart, was considering
changes to its guidance software and it appeared that our chances for
a January launch were between slim and none.
In the last few weeks, however, several good things have conspired to
keep the launch date set at January 24.
First, Orbital put the rocket back together again and retested it.
Second, the Launch Vehicle review at KSC went favorably with a decision
to mate HESSI to the rocket. Third, the mate went well (we had practice).
Fourth, Orbital decided not to change its flight software program guiding
the Pegasus. And last, European air traffic control accepted our latest
launch window. They rejected (again) the 1600-1800 UT window but accepted
a 2021-2221 UT window. Tomorrow, we begin the final set of tests and
operations leading to launch.
HESSI has been on a very rough road since March 2000 and there does
not appear to be a change in sight. We expect to battle issues all
the way to launch. But, with a significant amount of luck - well
deserved, I might add - HESSI should soon be collecting X-rays instead of
To borrow a phrase, I am 'cautiously optimistic' about the Jan 24 launch.
But keep your fingers crossed anyway.
Peter R. Harvey
Space Sciences Lab, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
Phone: 510-642-0643 or 510-708-7501 Cell
Fax: 510-643-8302 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This site last updated November 10, 2008.