Press Release

NASA Awards Launch Services for Lunar Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
July 30, 2006
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NASA Awards Launch Services for Lunar Mission

NASA announced today the award of launch services for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission to Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services Inc. of Littleton, Colo. The total cost of launch services for NASA, which includes spacecraft processing, and associated mission integration services such as telemetry support and mission-unique items is $136.2 million dollars.

The spacecraft are scheduled for launch aboard an Atlas V 401 rocket from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station during a launch window that opens on Oct. 31, 2008. The launch service was awarded in support of the NASA Launch Services Program office at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

The orbiter will spend a year mapping the moon from an average altitude of approximately 30 miles. It will carry six instruments and one technology demonstration to perform investigations specifically targeted for preparing for future human exploration. The instruments are provided by various organizations throughout the United States, and one is from Russia.

The mission is also carrying a secondary payload called Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite. Its goals are to confirm the presence or absence of water ice at the moon’s south pole. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the orbiter project, and the agency’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., manages the sensing satellite project.

Principal work for tank manufacturing of the Atlas V first stage booster will occur at the Lockheed Martin facilities in Waterton, Colo.; tank fabrication for the Centaur upper stage will occur at the Lockheed facilities in San Diego; assembly and testing of the launch vehicle components will occur at the Lockheed aeronautics plant in Denver.

The fabrication and assembly of the payload fairing, the interstate and its associated adapter will be performed by Lockheed in Harlingen, Texas.

The launch services for the LRO/LCROSS were acquired under the existing NASA Launch Services indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract using a launch service task order procedure.

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SpaceRef staff editor.