Business

September 11, 2012

Lockheed Martin begins final assembly of NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft

Lockheed Martin has begun the assembly, test and launch operations phase for NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN spacecraft.

MAVEN is scheduled to launch in November 2013 and will be the first mission devoted to understanding the Martian upper atmosphere.

ATLO represents a critical stage of the program because it is when the spacecraft begins to take form and culminates with its launch. Over the next five months technicians will install the subsystems on the main spacecraft structure, comprising avionics, power, telecomm, mechanisms, thermal systems, and guidance, navigation and control. The propulsion system was installed earlier this year and in mid-August the spacecraft was powered up with flight software for the first time.

During ATLO science instruments are being delivered to Lockheed Martin’s Littleton, Colo. facility for integration with the spacecraft. Once the spacecraft has been fully assembled, it will undergo rigorous environmental testing in early 2013.

“I think it’s very timely that we started assembly of MAVEN during the centennial year of our corporation,” said Guy Beutelschies, MAVEN program manager at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “Helping our customers rise to the challenge of tomorrow and discover new things is inherent to our core values and our team is thrilled to begin this next phase of the MAVEN mission.”

On Sept. 10 the MAVEN project officially received authorization to transition into the next phase of the mission, Phase D, after completing a series of independent reviews that cover not only technical health of the project but also programmatic health (schedule and cost). The key decision meeting was held at NASA Headquarters in Washington and was chaired by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

MAVEN is a robotic exploration mission with the goal to determine the role that loss of atmospheric gas to space played in changing the Martian climate through time. It will determine how much of the Martian atmosphere has been lost over time by measuring the current rate of escape to space and gathering enough information about the relevant processes to allow extrapolation backward in time.

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, build instruments, and lead Education/Public Outreach. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the project and is building two of the science instruments for the mission. Lockheed Martin of Littleton, Colo., will build the spacecraft and perform mission operations. The University of California-Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory is building instruments for the mission. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., provides Program management via the Mars Program Office, as well as navigation support, the Deep Space Network, and the Electra telecommunications relay hardware and operations.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
NG-people2

Northrop Grumman names VP, mission assurance for Electronic Systems sector

Northrop Grumman has appointed Sonal B. Deshpande vice president of mission assurance for the company’s Linthicum-based Electronic Systems sector. In this position, Deshpande is responsible for mission assurance across th...
 
 
sikorsky-raider

Sikorsky S-97 Raider helicopter achieves successful first flight

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a United Technologies Corp. subsidiary, announced May 22 the successful first flight of the S-97 Raider™ helicopter, a rigid coaxial rotor prototype designed to demonstrate a game-changing combination...
 
 
NG-people

Northrop Grumman appoints VP, program manager ISR division

Northrop Grumman announced it has appointed Steve Lunny, vice president and program manager for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance division within the company’s Information Systems sector. Lunny will report...
 

 

HELLADS laser completes development

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. announced May 21 that the High-Energy Liquid Laser completed the U.S. government acceptance test procedure and is now being shipped to the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. At WSMR, the laser will undergo an extensive series of live fire tests against a number of military targets.  GAASI is a leading...
 
 
boeing-transaero

Boeing delivers Transaero’s first Next-Generation 737-800

Boeing May 22 delivered Transaero’s first Next-Generation 737-800. The airplane, sporting a new livery, arrived at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport. Boeing May 22 delivered Transaero’s first Next-Generation 737-800. The airpla...
 
 
Boeing photograph

Boeing-upgraded French AWACS take flight

Boeing photograph A French AWACS aircraft patrols the skies as part of a routine mission. The French AWACS fleet is in the midst of the Mid-Life Upgrade that modernizes the capabilities on board. Initial operating capability of...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>