Space

November 20, 2013

ULA Atlas V Rocket successfully launches MAVEN mission on journey to Red Planet

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN spacecraft lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., at 1:28 p.m., EST, Nov. 18.

This was ULA’s 10th launch of the year and marks the 41st Atlas V mission and the 76th launch for ULA.

“United Launch Alliance is proud to be a part of this tremendous mission, working closely with the NASA Launch Services Program and MAVEN teams,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs. “Missions to Mars are very exciting and over the last decade, ULA launch systems have been entrusted to launch all of NASA’s missions to the red planet, including the Spirit and Opportunity rovers and most recently the Mars Science Lab mission with the Curiosity rover.”

This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V 401 configuration vehicle, which includes a four-meter diameter payload fairing. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine and the Centaur upper stage was powered by a single Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10A engine.

“In just a few days, the Centaur upper stage will celebrate its 50th anniversary since its first successful launch,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs. “Centaur has a rich heritage dating back to the beginning of human spaceflight and continues to reliably deliver critical science missions for NASA.”

MAVEN will examine specific processes on Mars that led to the loss of much of its atmosphere. Data and analysis will help planetary scientists understand the history of climate change on the red planet and provide further information on the history of planetary habitability.

ULA’s next launch is the Atlas V NROL-39 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office scheduled for Dec. 5 from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

ULA program management, engineering, test, and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo.† Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., and Harlingen, Texas. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.




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


 
 

 
nasa-astronaut

Veteran NASA astronaut, spacewalker retires from NASA

Veteran astronaut Mike Foreman has retired from NASA to join a Houston-based consulting firm. A retired captain in the U.S. Navy, Foreman’s last day with the agency is July 31. “Mike is a great American who has served our ...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech photograph

NASA selects proposals to study neutron stars, black holes, more

NASA/JPL-Caltech photograph The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), launched in 2012, is an Explorer mission that allows astronomers to study the universe in high energy X-rays. NASA has selected five proposals subm...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech  image

NASA’s Spitzer confirms closest rocky exoplanet

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This artist’s concept shows the silhouette of a rocky planet, dubbed HD 219134b. At 21 light-years away, the planet is the closest outside of our solar system that can be seen crossing, or transitin...
 

 

NASA awards contract to support agency’s human spaceflight programs

NASA has selected Wyle Laboratories Inc., of El Segundo, Calif., to provide biomedical, medical and health services in support of all human spaceflight programs at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The work supports ongoing research aboard the International Space Station and helps enable the journey to Mars. The Human Health and Performance contract...
 
 
nasa-astronaut

Astronaut Stephen Frick retires from NASA

Astronaut Stephen Frick has retired from NASA to accept a position in the private sector. Frick, who flew as both a shuttle pilot and commander, left the Agency July 13. Steve has been a great asset to the astronaut office and ...
 
 
NASA/JPL-CalTech/R. Hurt photograph

NASA’s Kepler mission discovers bigger, older cousin to Earth

NASA/JPL-CalTech/R. Hurt photograph This size and scale of the Kepler-452 system compared alongside the Kepler-186 system and the solar system. Kepler-186 is a miniature solar system that would fit entirely inside the orbit 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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>