Press Release

NASA Chooses Jupiter as Next Major Spacecraft Destination

By SpaceRef Editor
June 3, 2005
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NASA Chooses Jupiter as Next Major Spacecraft Destination

NASA has announced the second mission in its New Frontiers Program: a mission — called Juno to fly to Jupiter — that now will proceed to a preliminary design phase. At the end of the preliminary design study, the mission must pass a confirmation review that will address schedule, technical and cost risks before being confirmed for the development phase.

Dr. Scott Bolton of Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX, is the Principal Investigator. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., will provide mission project management. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT – News) Space Systems in Denver will build the spacecraft.

“We’re enormously pleased to be working with the Southwest Research Institute and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to move this mission forward from the drawing board to the outer solar system,” said Jim Crocker, vice president of Civil Space at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.

Juno will be the first solar-powered mission to Jupiter. Its seven science instruments are designed to unlock secrets of solar system formation.

A nominal mission will place the Juno spacecraft in a polar orbit around the giant planet for one year. As it orbits from pole to pole on a unique path designed to avoid most of Jupiter’s harsh radiation, Jupiter will rotate beneath, allowing the science instruments to produce full-planet maps of gravity, magnetic fields and atmospheric water content as well as studying Jupiter’s auroral particles and fields.

The selected New Frontiers science mission must be ready for launch no later than June 30, 2010, within a mission cost cap of $700 million.

The New Frontiers Program is designed to provide opportunities to conduct several of the medium-class mission investigations identified as top priority objectives in the Decadal Solar System Exploration Survey, conducted by the Space Studies Board of the National Research Council.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, a major operating unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, designs, develops, tests, manufactures, and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include a full-range of space launch systems, including heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin Corporation employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2004 sales of $35.5 billion.

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SpaceRef staff editor.