During LRO's two-month commissioning phase, many special operations will take place to help prepare LROC and all of the instruments for their first year of operation.
What does the LROC team need to do before imaging can commence? First, we need to dry out the NAC telescope structures so the cameras will be in focus.
This morning the LRO Team at Goddard Space Flight Center commanded LRO to execute a 40-minute burn that placed LRO into lunar orbit!
LRO mid-course correction burn successful!
LRO, carrying the LROC and LCROSS instruments was successfully launched at 5:32 U.S. Eastern. Congratulations!
The LRO/LCROSS Atlas V 401 will be rolled out of the Vertical Integration Facility towards the launch pad starting at 10 am this morning (June 17) in preparation for a launch attempt Thursday June 18 at 5:12 pm.
The LRO launch window is currently in flux due to the slip of the Space Shuttle Endeavor launch. LRO is currently set for launch on the 18th, with a possible launch window of the 18th to 20th.
Future rocket scientists needed - some assembly required.
Last year calibration of LROC Narrow Angle Cameras (NAC) took place at the Malin Space Science Systems (San Diego).
This is a "souvenir picture" of the first NAC taken last year in a cleanroom at Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego. In this picture the large primary mirror of the NAC optics is well visible at the end of the NAC tube. The LROC Science Team member on the left gives a good sense of just how large the LROC NACs are. Remember, there will be two NACs side by side on the LRO spacecraft!