Lockheed Martin-built Juno Spacecraft Lifts Off for Six Year Voyage to Jupiter
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., August 5, 2011 --
NASA's Juno spacecraft, designed and built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], was successfully launched this morning from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 12:25 p.m. EDT aboard an Atlas V 551 rocket provided by United Launch Alliance.
Five minutes after separation from the Centaur upper stage, the Juno spacecraft deployed its three large solar arrays and started producing power. Initial contact with the spacecraft was obtained by the mission's Flight Operations team at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company's facility near Denver.
"Early telemetry from the spacecraft indicated that all major subsystems are healthy," said Tim Gasparrini, Juno spacecraft program manager at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. "Launch and initial acquisition is the first of our critical events, and they couldn't have gone smoother. Our team is thrilled that we're on our way to Jupiter to help NASA and the science community understand the origins of our solar system."
Scheduled to arrive at Jupiter in July 2016, the spacecraft will spend a little more than a year orbiting over the poles of the gas giant while studying the planet's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.
"Today's successful launch is a direct reflection of the dedication and hard work the entire Juno team has given to this program over the past six years," said Jim Crocker, vice president and general manager of Sensing and Exploration Systems at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. "Our team and I are extremely proud to deliver mission success for such longstanding customers as NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory."
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute at San Antonio. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is building the spacecraft. The Italian Space Agency in Rome is contributing an infrared spectrometer instrument and a portion of the radio science experiment. Launch management for the mission is the responsibility of NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.