Lockheed Martin Ships Juno Spacecraft to NASA
Next Mission to Jupiter Working Toward August Launch
DENVER, April 11th, 2011 — Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] shipped NASAâ€™s Juno spacecraft to Kennedy Space Center, Fla. on April 8. The vehicle will undergo four months of testing and processing in preparation for its launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 vehicle in early August. During the past year, the spacecraft was assembled and tested at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company facilities near Denver, Colo.
Juno is NASAâ€™s next mission to Jupiter and is the second of the agencyâ€™s New Frontiers missions. Scheduled to arrive at Jupiter in July 2016, the spacecraft will spend a little more than a year orbiting over the poles of the gas giant while studying the planetâ€™s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.
â€œFrom the earliest stages of this mission, weâ€™ve worked closely with the missionâ€™s principal investigator Scott Bolton and his science team to understand the challenges of their science objectives,â€ said Jim Crocker, vice president of Sensing and Exploration Systems at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. â€œThen, in close partnership with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, our team designed and built a unique and amazing spacecraft that will garner that highly-sought science while dealing with the harsh radiation environment of Jupiter.â€
The 3,600-pound spacecraft was transported on an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport plane in an environmentally controlled container. The C-17 and its precious cargo touched down at 7:55 p.m. EDT at Kennedy Space Centerâ€™s Shuttle Landing Facility. Juno was then transported to Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Fla. where it will go through final processing.
â€œDelivering Juno to Kennedy Space Center marks an important milestone in the mission.â€ said Tim Gasparrini, Juno program manager at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. â€œThe spacecraft has undergone a rigorous environmental test program in Denver but we still have plenty of work to do as our team focuses on processing the spacecraft for a successful launch.â€
NASAâ€™s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute at San Antonio, Texas. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, Colo., is building the spacecraft. The Italian Space Agency in Rome is contributing an infrared spectrometer instrument and a portion of the radio science experiment.
Source and photo: Lockheed Martin