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NASA 167408main ELVrev

NASA 167408main ELVrev

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NASA
 
Facts
National Aeronautics andSpace Administration
John F. Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center, Florida 32899AC 321-867-2468
FS-2001-10-016-KSC
NASA’s Expendable LaunchVehicle (ELV) Program Center
In 1997
, Kennedy Space Centerwas assigned lead center programresponsibility for NASA’s acquisi-tion and management of Expend-able Launch Vehicle (ELV) launchservices.The ELV Program Office pro-vides a single focal point for theacquisition and management ofELV launch services, while afford-ing NASA the benefits of consoli-dated and streamlined technicaland administrative functions. Theprogram, with its vision statement,“Global Leadership In Launch Ser-vice Excellence,” provides launchservices for NASA, NASA-spon-sored payloads and other govern-ment payloads.Primary launch sites areCape Canaveral Air ForceStation (CCAFS), Fla., andVandenberg Air Force Base(VAFB), Calif. NASA’s WallopsIsland, Va., flight facility, KwajaleinAtoll in the Republic of the MarshallIslands in the North Pacific, andKodiak Island, Alaska, are other launch locations.Since 1990, NASA has been purchasing ELV launchservices directly from commercial providers, whenever pos-sible, for its scientific and applications missions that are notassigned to fly on the Space Shuttle. ELVs can accommo-date all types of orbit inclinations and altitudes and are idealvehicles for launching Earth-orbit and interplanetary missions.Kennedy Space Center is responsible for NASA gov-ernment oversight of launch operations and countdown man-agement. A motivated and skillful team is in place to meetthe mission of the ELV program, “To provide launch serviceexcellence, expertise and leadership to ensure mission suc-cess for every customer.”
Expendable Launch Vehicles
All Expendable Launch Vehicles use the same basic tech-nology to get into space – two or more rocket-powered stages,which are discarded when their engine burns are completed.Whatever a launch vehicle carries above the final discardedstage is considered the payload.A payload’s weight, orbital destination and purpose de-termine what size launch vehicle is required. A small ex-pendable launch vehicle like Pegasus can place a low-weightspacecraft into near-Earth orbit, while an expendable vehiclelike the massive Saturn V was required to send mannedApollo spacecraft to the Moon.The powerful Titan/Centaur combination carried large andcomplex robotic scientific explorers, such as the Vikings andVoyagers, to examine other planets in the 1970s. Amongother missions, the Atlas/Agena vehicle sent several space-craft to photograph and then impact the Moon. And Atlas/ Centaur vehicles launched many of the larger spacecraft intoEarth orbit and beyond.To date, Delta launch vehicles have carried nearly 200NASA scientific, wind and communications payloads intoorbit, or to other planets. NASA has used the Athena I and IIvehicles to launch scientific satellites from VAFB, CCAFSand most recently, from Kodiak Island, Alaska. Pegasus, anOrbital Sciences fleet vehicle, is the only airborne launchvehicle in the ELV fleet. Taurus is the newest vehicle inOrbital’s fleet.
NASA ELV Fleet
Atlas/Centaur
The Atlas IIA, IIAS , IIIA and IIIB are the latest versionsof the Atlas/Centaur vehicles that first became operationalin 1966. Lockheed Martin uses these three vehicles to launch
Atlas IIAS
 
military, commercial and scientific payloads into space fromSpace Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral Air ForceStation and Space Launch Complex 3B at Vandenberg AirForce Base. More than 500 Atlas flights have taken place,including more than 100 flights with the Centaur stage addedto create the Atlas/Centaur vehicle.When launched by NASA through 1989, the Atlas/Cen-taur was the standard vehicle for intermediate payloads thatcarried about 8,200 pounds (3700 kilograms) to geosynchro-nous transfer orbit. The Centaur was the first high-energy,liquid-hydrogen/liquid-oxygen launch vehicle stage, and pro-vided the most power for its weight of any proven stage thenin use.The Atlas/Centaur was the launch vehicle for SurveyorI, the first U.S. spacecraft to soft-land on the Moon. Otherspacecraft launched by Atlas/Centaurs include the OrbitingAstronomical Observatories; Applications Technology Satel-lites; the Intelsat IV, IV-A and V series of communicationssatellites; Mariner Mars orbiters; a Mariner spacecraft thatmade a flyby of Venus and three flybys of Mercury; Pioneers,which accomplished flybys of Jupiter and Saturn; and Pio-neers that orbited Venus and sent probes plunging throughits atmosphere to the surface. Most recently, NASA launchedthe NOAA GOES-M weather satellite on an Atlas IIA.Lockheed Martin developed the Atlas III launch systemthat debuted in 2000. This vehicle can carry more than 8,819pounds (4,000 kilograms) to geosynchronous transfer orbit.The Atlas V system, expected to debut in early 2002, will beable to carry up to 18,893 pounds (8,570 kilograms) to geo-synchronous transfer orbit, from Space Launch Complex 41at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Delta
From 1960 to 1989, NASA was the responsible agencyin the launch of 170 scientific, weather and communicationsspacecraft, along with some military satellites, from CapeCanaveral Air Force Station and Vandenberg Air Force Base.These spacecraft include NASA’s TIROS, Nimbus, ITOS,LANDSAT and Westar series, and more than 30 scientificExplorers. Numerous international satellites were alsolaunched by NASA.The Delta family of vehicles has been upgraded severaltimes over the years. The Delta, produced by Boeing, cur-rently has solid strap-on motors, liquid-fueled first and sec-ond stages, and a solid-propellant third stage.The Delta III launch vehicle debuted in 1998. Thisupgraded model carries 8,400 pounds (3,810 kilograms) togeosynchronous transfer orbit. The Delta IV system, ex-pected to debut in first quarter 2002, will be able to carry8,818 pounds (4,000 kilograms) to 27,778 pounds (12,600kilograms) up to geosynchronous transfer orbit, dependingon vehicle configuration. Space Launch Complex 37 atCCAFS, formerly a Saturn I launch pad, is being recon-structed to launch the Delta IV.
Pegasus
The Pegasus XL vehicle is the only airborne, commer-cially developed launch vehicle currently used. The Pegasusvehicle is carried to an altitude of 39,000 feet attached be-neath an Orbital Sciences carrier aircraft, a convertedLockheed L-1011 (above), and then released for launch. Pe-gasus has successfully placed 70 satellites in orbit with 29launches. Its three-stage solid motors can deliver up to a970-pound (440-kilogram) payload into low-Earth orbit.Because of its unique launch platform, this vehicle canbe launched from almost any location in the world. Therehave been successful launches from Vandenberg Air ForceBase, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, NASA’s WallopsIsland, Va., flight facility, Kwajelein Atoll in the Republic ofthe Marshall Islands in the Pacific, and the Canary Islandsin the Atlantic. On Oct. 9, 2000, Pegasus launched NASA’sHigh Energy Transient Experiment (HETE-2) into an equa-torial orbit from Kwajalein Atoll.
Taurus
The Taurus ve-hicle is a four-stagesolid motor vehicle.The Taurus was de-signed to operate froma wide range of launchfacilities and geo-graphic locations. TheTaurus launch vehiclehas successfully sentnine satellites into or-bit with five launches,all from VandenbergAir Force Base. It wasused to launchNASA’s Active CavityRadiometer IrradianceMonitor Satellite(ACRIMSAT) space-craft on Dec. 20, 1999.Taurus was privatelydeveloped by OrbitalSciences to launch up to a 2,200-pound (1,000-kilogram)payload into low-Earth orbit.
Titan IV
The Titan has been used by NASA to launch interplan-etary missions from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. An
Taurus 4Pegasus is attached underneath theLockheed L-1011, ready for release.
 
earlier version of theTitan vehicle, the TitanIII-E/Centaur, built byMartin Marietta andGeneral Dynamics,was used to launchtwo Helios missions tothe Sun, two Vikingmissions to Mars, andtwo Voyager missionsto Jupiter and Saturnbeginning in the1970s. One of theVoyagers also contin-ued on to Uranus andNeptune. All of themissions provided re-markable new scien-tific data on our solar system and spectacular color photo-graphs of the planets they explored, as well as some of theirmoons.The Titan IV most recently was used to launch NASA’sCassini spacecraft to Saturn in 1997. And the Titan III sentNASA’s Mars Observer on its journey in 1992.The Titan II is still used today to launch NOAA weathersatellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base.The current Titan IV is the primary heavy lift vehicle forthe Air Force and has undergone some changes. The TitanIVB vehicle has upgraded solid rocket boosters and an avi-onics system. The Titan IVB can deliver 39,000 pounds(17,690 kilograms) into low-polar orbit, and 13,000 pounds(5,897 kilograms) into a geosynchronous orbit.
Historic Missions
Mars Odyssey (Delta II)
NASA’s 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft was launchedsuccessfully from Space Launch Complex 17A at CapeCanaveral Air Force Station aboard a Delta II on April 7,2001.The Mars Odyssey will travel to and orbit the Red Planetin order to determine its composition. The Odyssey will beable to detect water and shallow buried ice and will study theradiation environment of the planet’s surface to help gaugethe radiation risk to human explorers. The science instru-ments aboard the 2001 Mars Odyssey orbiter include a Ther-mal Emission Imaging System, Gamma Ray Spectrometerand Mars Radiation Environment Experiment.
Mars Pathfinder (Delta II)
NASA’s Mars Pathfinder began its journey to Mars atopa Delta II that launched Dec. 4, 1996, from Launch Complex17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Mars Path-finder traveled to the Red Planet and arrived there in July1997. It sent a lander and small robotic rover, the Sojourner,to the surface of Mars to collect valuable data about the Mar-tian surface. The primary objective of the mission was todemonstrate a low-cost way of delivering a science packageto Mars using a direct entry, descent and landing with the aidof small rocket engines, a parachute and airbags.
Mars Global Surveyor (Delta II)
NASA’s first return to Mars since the Viking mission be-gan with the launch of the Mars Global Surveyor atop a DeltaII on Nov. 7, 1996, from Launch Complex 17A at CapeCanaveral Air Force Station. The Surveyor traveled to theRed Planet and spent approximately two years mapping theMartian surface to achieve a global portrait. Using sophisti-cated remote-sensing instruments, the Mars Global Surveyormapped the Red Planet’s topography, magnetism, mineralcomposition and atmosphere.
Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR)(Delta II)
NASA’s Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) space-craft was launched aboard a Delta II on Feb. 17, 1996, fromSpace Launch Complex 17 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Sta-tion. The NEAR mission was NASA’s first mission for itsDiscovery Program for “faster, better, cheaper” planetary ex-plorations, and is the first spacecraft powered by solar cellsto operate beyond the orbit of Mars. NEAR reached theasteroid Eros in December 1998 and sent back more than1100 images, including color images, from as close as 2500miles above its surface.In May 2000 itachieved orbit aroundthe asteroid and con-tinued to send back in-formation. On Feb. 12,2001, NEAR began itsslow descent to thesurface of Eros andcontinued to transmit69 close-up images ofits surface before itcame to rest.
Stardust(Delta II)
On Feb.7, 1999, aDelta II was launchedfrom Launch Complex17-A, Cape CanaveralAir Force Station, car-rying the Stardustspacecraft. Stardust’sprimary goal is to col-lect comet dust andvolatile samples duringa planned close en-counter with the cometWild 2 in January 2004.Stardust will also bringback samples of inter-stellar dust, includingthe recently discovereddust streaming into our
Delta IITitan IV

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