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September 25, 1998

John McNamee
Mars Surveyor 98 Project Manager

Mars Climate Orbiter (At Kennedy Space Center):

Orbiter launch processing activities are proceeding on schedule in the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility (SAEF-2) at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The re-worked Power Distribution and Drive Unit (PDDU) was reinstalled on the orbiter on September 19 and the spacecraft was powered on for the first time at KSC on September 21. The reinstallation was accomplished without removing the solar array. Reaction Control System (RCS) Rocket Engine Module (REM) phasing and flow check testing was completed on September 24. The helium tank was pressurized on September 25. All plans and procedures are in place to support orbiter fueling activities which begin this weekend.

Boeing's proposed plan regarding pad traffic is to make a final attempt to launch Deep Space 1 (DS1) no later than October 27 7:00 AM in order to maintain the opening of the orbiter launch period on December 10. De-stack activities would begin immediately on October 27 if the DS1 launch was scrubbed in order to protect the orbiter launch. Boeing maintains that attempting the DS1 launch on October 31 after the scheduled October 29 shuttle launch would result in a loss of 4 days from the front end of the orbiter launch period should the DS1 launch be scrubbed on October 31 and de-stack activities begun immediately. Loss of four days represents 1/2 of the primary orbiter launch period and greatly reduces the probability of having the orbiter in place to support relay activities at lander arrival.

Mars Polar Lander (In Denver, Colorado):

Dry spin balance and entry, descent, and landing mission system testing was accomplished successfully September 18 through September 21 prior to removing the Power Drive and Distribution Unit (PDDU) and Command and Data Handling (C&DH) box for glass body diode inspection and replacement. The PDDU and C&DH boxes were removed without incident on September 22. Four cracked diodes were found in the lander C&DH box and two cracked diodes were found in the PDDU; significantly fewer than expected. Re-work activities are in process with completion scheduled for October 7. Planning continues for the shipment of the lander to KSC SAEF-2 on October 1.

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