Thursday, October 21, 2010

NASA awards 2013 launch of Mars orbiter to ULA

NASA today awarded United Launch Alliance a $187 million contract for the planned November 2013 launch of a Mars orbiter from Cape Canaveral.

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft, or MAVEN, will launch atop ULA's Atlas V rocket from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

"We are extremely proud that NASA has shown the confidence in ULA to launch this important mission," said company spokesman Mike Rein. "This is also tremendous news for ULA’s nearly 700 Cape employees and for Brevard County, as it is another launch coming to Florida after the shuttle's retierment."

MAVEN will study the Martian climate, providing a comprehensive picture of the planet's upper atmosphere, ionosphere, solar energy drivers and atmospheric losses, according to NASA.

NASA's Kennedy Space Center-based Launch Services Program will oversee the launch.

IMAGE: On Aug. 14, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V lifted off carrying the AEHF-1 spacecraft for the U.S. Air Force. Credit: ULA


jupiterslion said...

There is NO money for Mars. It was all a republican farce to distract voters from Bush's cancellation of the shuttle. The stoops didn't notice at the time because news papers were agog over Bush's proposal to go to Mars and put a Moon base on the Moon. No Way, he had given all the money to the Rich and was robbing Social Security to pay for his families War in Iraq. Stupid repubs drinking the kool aid an believing Bush

Anonymous said...

What in the world does your Democrat retoric post even have to do with the story? (Getting despirate?)

Speaking of wasting money, you have to look no further than what the current president is doing with money....stimulus packages to bail out on one and health care rammmed down our throat!!

Frank said...

On Jan 03,2007 the Dow was near 13,000, GDP was 4.6% and unemployment was 4.5%. Jan 03, 2007 was also the day Bonnie Fwank took over the House Financial Services Committee, Chris Dodd tokk over the Senate Banking committee, Nancy Pelosi got her Gavel and Harry Reid became Majority whip. That's when the Democrats took over and the tide turned DOWNHILL.Now houses sit abandoned and foreclosed, people are living under bridges, businees are idle or closed,True unemployment is closer to 20% if you count those whom gave up looking. Our Space Program is in shambles, better to RENT-A-RIDE to space with the Russians. What part of CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN do you like now????

Anonymous said...

Frank, I couldn’t have said it any better. But you did not mention the future. Obama, while one of the directors of the Joyce Foundation, provided funding to help create CXX thru Shore Bank (that he also helped bail out with Federal funds as president). Now when Obama forces Cap-and-Trade down our throats, CXX will be the only trading floor and the investors (Clinton’s, Obama’s, Gore’s and other democratic investors) will become multi-multi-billionaires in a “tax” scheme that will outweigh the IRS.

Gene said...

Think some corrections are in order...

In 2004, Then President Bush canceled the Space Transportation System (AKA The Space Shuttle) in the shadow of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) indicating that the Shuttle System would have to go though an expensive re-certification process in 2010 in order to continue flying.

President Bush decided that the US should go in a different direction and set NASA's course for the Moon, Mars and beyond on a 'pay as you go' method, thus Project Constellation was born. It was hoped by the end of the Shuttle Program, Constellation's Orion Capsule would be ready to fly. However, like so many presidents before him President Bush did not fund NASA well enough to do all of the tasks that NASA has before it.

President Obama instead if trying to fix the mess that Constellation had become, junked the whole program (after a 8-9 Billion dollar investment) and decided to turn human spaceflight over to the commercial sector, with only the ISS as our destination for at least another 10 years. This will make a grand total of 50 years (Skylab plus Shuttle plus ISS) of going around in circles. Current Public Perception: Human Spaceflight in the United States is Over.

We keep this up we're not going to Disneyworld let alone back to the Moon and on to Mars. To play politics: BOTH sides Democrat and Republican have been asleep at the switch for too long when it comes to funding Human Spaceflight in the US and giving our space program a sound sustainable direction. The politico's however get their marching orders from us the American People. (or at least I THINK the do, lately sometimes I wonder) WE have to say this is a priority. If we do nothing to save our space program and let our elected leaders know we believe space to be an economic engine in trying times, we'll get just that. Nothing.

Chris said...

I would just like to see an actual amount(in billion's of dollars) that we have spent on the space program. And in comparison a list of achievements it has helped society(besides the fact that we have been able to leave planet earth.) And see if those achievements were worth the money spent. I doubt they were. We should spend more money(more efficiently as well) on our own damn planet in our oceans and in the rain forests. Which have been proven to provide cures to illness and disease. Yet we let people chop them down before we have even discovered all the species here on earth! But yet we throw billions into the fire to find out if there was even life on MARS! Ass backwards in my opinion. But what do I know.