Lockheed Martin One of Two Selected For Spacecraft Design Analysis on NASA's Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope
SUNNYVALE, CA, 06-JUN-01 -- Lockheed Martin Space Systems is one of two contractors selected by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Md. to perform its spacecraft accommodation study for the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) Observatory. Planned for launch in 2006, GLAST will inaugurate a new epoch in space-based physics investigation. We're extremely proud as a company to have been given the opportunity to develop a design for GLAST that optimizes science return through a precise understanding of all the interfaces between the spacecraft and the scientific instruments, said Dr. Domenick Tenerelli, Space Systems program manager for GLAST. A mission that seeks to understand the most energetic events in the cosmos is particularly exciting. We're delighted to be working with NASA Goddard to develop a low-risk, low-cost design for this fundamental mission to better understand the structure and evolution of the universe.
The Space Systems design will incorporate the LM 900 bus, used on the IKONOS commercial remote sensing spacecraft built for Space Imaging of Thornton, Co. The LM 900 is an ideal spacecraft for GLAST's two main instruments, the Large Area Telescope (LAT) and the GLAST Burst Monitor (GBM). The LM 900 provides a platform that meets or exceed all requirements for command and data handling, power distribution, pointing and control, telecommunications, software interfaces, thermal interfaces and structural integrity.
Additionally, Space Systems brings to the table a long commitment to space science. The company has provided spacecraft, as well as systems engineering, integration, and test, for the Hubble Space Telescope, Lunar Prospector, Imager for Magnetopause to Aurora Global Exploration, Gravity Probe-B, the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, and the Space Interferometry Mission. Design concepts for NASA's Next Generation Space Telescope and the Terrestrial Planet Finder are also in progress at the Space Systems facility in Sunnyvale.
GLAST will identify and study nature's high-energy particle accelerators through observations of active galactic nuclei, pulsars, stellar-mass black holes, supernova remnants, gamma-ray bursts, diffuse galactic and extragalactic high-energy radiation, and mysterious unidentified gamma-ray sources. GLAST will use these sources to probe important physical parameters of the Galaxy and the Universe that are not readily measured with other observations. The high-energy gamma rays will be used to search for a variety of fundamentally new phenomena, such as particle dark matter and Hawking radiation from evaporating black holes.
The scientific objectives of the GLAST mission require a high-energy gamma-ray telescope with:
Angular resolution sufficient to identify point sources with objects at other wavelengths.
A wide field-of-view that will permit the study of sources that exhibit extreme intensity variations?on timescales from seconds to months or longer.
A large effective area to detect a large sample of sources and determine their energy spectra.
New detector technologies that offer significant improvements over existing hardware (a factor of between 10 and 100 improvement in source sensitivity, depending on energy) will allow these requirements to be met well within the cost constraints of an intermediate class astrophysics mission.
GLAST is an international collaboration of government agencies from the United States, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Sweden. The LAT is a joint project with NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy; and it will be constructed by Stanford University, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, the University of California, Santa Cruz, the Naval Research Laboratory, NASA Goddard, and the international partners.
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, along with the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Germany will build the GBM. The overall mission management resides at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space Systems 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.