Lockheed Martin Ships MAVEN Spacecraft To NASA
Next Mission to Mars Progressing Toward November Launch
DENVER, Aug. 5, 2013
DENVER, Aug. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] delivered
NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft to the
Kennedy Space Center, Fla. on Friday, Aug. 2. The orbiter will now undergo
three-and-a-half months of final processing in preparation for a November
launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance
Atlas V-401 rocket.
The MAVEN mission will be the first dedicated to surveying the upper
atmosphere of Mars in an effort to understand the role that the loss of
atmospheric gas to space played in changing the Martian climate. Lockheed
Martin Space Systems near Denverdesigned and built the spacecraft and is
responsible for testing, launch processing and mission operations.
"After completing a year of assembly and rigorous testing, we are thrilled
that MAVEN has safely arrived at Kennedy Space Center and is ready to start
the final months of processing," said Guy Beutelschies, MAVEN program manager
at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. "Our successful delivery of the
MAVEN spacecraft is a significant milestone, and many on our team have moved
to Florida with MAVEN so they can continue working to prepare the orbiter to
be ready when the Nov. 18 launch window opens."
The 1,784-pound spacecraft was shipped on a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport
plane in an environmentally controlled container. The C-17, MAVEN and support
personnel took off from Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo. and touched
down at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility, on one of the largest
runways in the world. While at Kennedy, the spacecraft will undergo final
processing including re-installation of the high-gain antenna, software
testing, propellant loading, a spin balance, a second solar array deployment
and illumination test, and a payload deployment test.
"It was great to see MAVEN leave Colorado and arrive at Florida," said MAVEN
Principal Investigator Bruce Jakosky from the University of Colorado Boulder's
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. "As thrilling as it was to fly
with MAVEN on the C-17, I'm more looking forward to the day when it arrives at
its final destination and we can begin our science observations."
"We're excited and proud to ship the spacecraft right on schedule," said David
Mitchell, MAVEN project manager at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in
Greenbelt, Md. "But more critical milestones lie ahead before we accomplish
our mission of collecting science data from Mars. I firmly believe the team is
up to the task. Now we begin the final push to launch."
MAVEN's principal investigator is based at the University of Colorado at
Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. The university will
provide science operations, science instruments and lead Education/Public
Outreach. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center manages the project and provides
two of the science instruments for the mission. The University of California
at Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory provides science instruments for the
mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., provides
navigation support, the Deep Space Network and the Electra telecommunications
relay hardware and operations.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and
aerospace company that employs about 116,000 people worldwide and is
principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture,
integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and
services. The Corporation's net sales for 2012 were $47.2 billion.
More information about MAVEN can be found at:
Gary Napier, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company
(303) 971-4012; email@example.com
SOURCE Lockheed Martin
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.