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NASA Chooses LM For LRO Launch Services

Image credit: NASA
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Jul 31, 2006
NASA announced Friday it is awarding a $136.2-million launch-services contract for its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission to Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services. The contract cost includes spacecraft processing and associated mission integration services such as telemetry support and mission-unique items.

The spacecraft is scheduled to launch aboard an Atlas V 401 rocket from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida during a launch window that opens Oct. 31, 2008.

The LRO 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 in the United States, with one more from Russia.

The mission also will carry a secondary payload called the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, designed 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 LM's facilities in Waterton, Colo.; tank fabrication for the Centaur upper stage will occur at its facilities in San Diego, and assembly and testing of the launch vehicle components will occur at the aeronautics plant in Denver.

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

NASA said in a news release that it awarded launch services for LRO/LCROSS under its existing indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract using a launch-service task-order procedure.

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Crash Landing On The Moon
Huntsville AL (SPX) Jul 31, 2006
In 1959, a spaceship fell out of the lunar sky and hit the ground near the Sea of Serenity. The ship itself was shattered, but its mission was a success. Luna 2 from the Soviet Union had become the first manmade object to land on the Moon.

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