Twin APL-built solar probes shipped to NASA Goddard for pre-launch tests
Technicians and engineers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), in Laurel, Md., prepare one of the twin STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) spacecraft for shipment to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for additional pre-launch tests. Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
The first spacecraft designed to capture 3-D "stereo" views of the sun and solar wind were shipped today from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Md., for their next round of pre-launch tests.
The nearly identical twin STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) observatories, designed and built by APL, were recently tested in APLs vibration lab where engineers used a large shake table to check the structural integrity of the twin spacecraft. These tests simulate the ride into space the observatories will encounter aboard a Delta II launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., where theyre scheduled for launch in spring 2006.
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