Business

February 11, 2013

Lockheed Martin completes assembly, begins environmental testing of NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft

NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft recently completed assembly and has started environmental testing. In the Multipurpose Test Facility clean room at Lockheed Martin, technicians installed the orbiter’s two solar arrays prior to a modal test.

Lockheed Martin has completed the assembly of NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft.

The orbiter is now undergoing environmental testing at the company’s Space Systems facilities, near Denver, Colo. MAVEN is the next mission to Mars and will be the first mission devoted to understanding the Martian upper atmosphere.

During the environmental testing phase, the orbiter will undergo a variety of rigorous tests that simulate the extreme temperatures, vacuum and vibration the spacecraft will experience during the course of its mission. Currently, the spacecraft is in the company’s Reverberant Acoustic Laboratory being prepared to undergo acoustics testing that simulates the maximum sound and vibration levels the spacecraft will experience during launch.

Following the acoustics test, MAVEN will be subjected to a barrage of additional tests, including: separation/deployment shock, sine vibration, electromagnetic interference/electromagnetic compatibility (EMI/EMC), and magnetics testing. The phase concludes with a thermal vacuum test where the spacecraft and its instruments are exposed to the vacuum and extreme hot and cold temperatures it will face in space.

“The assembly and integration of MAVEN has gone very smoothly and we’re excited to test our work over the next six months,” said Guy Beutelschies, MAVEN program manager at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “Environmental testing is a crucial set of activities designed to ensure the spacecraft can operate in the extreme conditions of space.”

“I’m very pleased with how our team has designed and built the spacecraft and science instruments that will make our measurements,” said Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN principal investigator from the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. “We’ve got an exciting science mission planned, and the environmental testing now is what will ensure that we are ready for launch and for the mission.”

MAVEN is scheduled to ship from Lockheed Martin’s facility to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in early August where it will undergo final preparations for launch.

Scheduled to launch in November 2013, MAVEN is a robotic exploration mission to understand the role that loss of atmospheric gas to space played in changing the Martian climate through time. It will investigate 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 extrapolate backward in time.

“This phase of the program is particularly important in that it will provide us with a good assessment of the MAVEN system’s capabilities under the simulated extremes of the space environment,” said David Mitchell, MAVEN project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “Of significance, the spacecraft is entering system level test right on schedule, while maintaining robust cost and schedule reserves to deal with the technical or programmatic surprises that could occur during test or in the run to launch. Tracking on plan is critically important to being ready for launch later this year and the science that MAVEN will deliver one year later.”

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. Lockheed Martin of Littleton, Colo., built the spacecraft and is responsible for mission operations. 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.

 




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


 
 

 
Virgin Galactic photograph

NTSB concludes SpaceShipTwo flight test accident investigation

Virgin Galactic photograph WhiteKnightTwo and the first SpaceShipTwo during a captive carry test flight over the Mojave Desert. MOJAVE, Calif.–The National Transportation Safety Board has concluded the investigation of th...
 
 

Lockheed Martin, StemRad studying first-responder radiation shield for potential deep-space application

StemRad, Ltd. and Lockheed Martin have initiated a joint research and development effort to determine if StemRad’s radiation shielding technology ñ originally designed for first-responders ñ could help to keep astronauts safe on deep-space exploration missions. This collaboration is part of Lockheed Martin’s ongoing effort to establish international partnerships for human explorat...
 
 

General Dynamics to continue modernizing submarine tactical weapons systems

General Dynamics has received a $20 million contract modification from the U.S. Navy to continue modernizing the AN/BYG-1 Weapons Control System Technology Insertion and Advanced Processing Build software for U. S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy submarines. The AN/BYG-1 software analyzes and tracks submarine and surface-ship contact information, providing tactical, situational awareness for sub...
 

 

Boeing, Vietnam Airlines sign exclusive pilot training agreement

Boeing and Vietnam Airlines announced a five-year exclusive pilot-training agreement to support the Hanoi-based airline’s 787 Dreamliners. Under the agreement, Boeing Flight Services, a business unit of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services, will provide flight training for the airline’s new 787 Dreamliner fleet at Boeing’s Singapore training campus. Nearly 90 Vietnam Airlines p...
 
 
boeing-launch

Boeing WGS-7 satellite to provide military with 17 percent more bandwidth

Boeing’s seventh Wideband Global SATCOM satellite is now in orbit and will soon provide the U.S. and allied militaries with 17 percent more secure communications bandwidth than its predecessors thanks to a payload upgrade. ...
 
 

Boeing, Japanese partners formally sign agreement on 777X

Boeing and key Japanese partners July 23 signed a formal agreement for significant work on Boeing’s new 777X airplane. The agreement finalizes last year’s announcement by Boeing, Japan Aircraft Industries and Japan Aircraft Development Corporation of a Memorandum of Agreement to provide approximately 21 percent of the major airplane structure components for the 777X. The...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>