NASA's Mars Climate Orbiter

Submitted by Jim Rose

At 07:44 AM 12/14/98 -0500, wrote:
> Alliant Techsystems Solid Propulsion Rocket Motors Boost NASA
>Orbiter Spacecraft on Mission to Mars
> December 11, 1998 4:07 PM EST
> MAGNA, Utah, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- A Boeing (NYSE: BA) Delta II rocket
>boosted by Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) solid propulsion rocket motors
>roared into the Florida sky today, sending NASA's Mars Climate Orbiter
>spacecraft on a 10-month, 310-million mile journey to the Red Planet.
>Liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla. came at 1:45 p.m. EST.
> One of two Mars Surveyor '98 spacecraft, the Mars Climate Orbiter will use
>atmospheric instruments and cameras to provide detailed information about
>the planet's surface and climate. The second spacecraft, the Mars Polar
>Lander, is scheduled to be launched by a Boeing Delta II rocket on Jan. 3,
>1999. After landing near Mars' southern polar cap in December 1999, it will
>use cameras, a robotic arm, and instruments to measure Martian soil
>composition. The two spacecraft are the second in a series of Mars
>orbiter-lander pairs scheduled to visit the planet between now and 2005.
>The first pair, Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Pathfinder, were launched
>aboard Delta II rockets with Alliant boosters in 1996.
> Paul A. Ross, group vice president, Space and Strategic Systems, said
>today's launch continues a long tradition of Alliant support for NASA
>scientific missions.
> "Our employees are tremendously proud to play a role in the Mars Surveyor
>'98 program," said Ross. "The Mars Climate Orbiter and the Mars Polar
>Lander are important scientific missions that will add significantly to the
>knowledge gained by the Global Surveyor and Pathfinder missions."
> Ross said Alliant's solid rocket boosters, which are flown on Delta, Titan
>IV B, Pegasus XL(R), and Taurus(R) vehicles, have helped launch numerous
>scientific and space exploratory payloads for NASA, including last year's
>Cassini spacecraft and Huygens probe to Saturn. The company's advanced
>composite materials are used to fabricate lightweight, high-strength space
>structures such as the precision optical benches for NASA's Hubble Space
>Telescope and the fuel tanks for the NASA X-33 Reusable Launch Vehicle.
> Today's launch of the Mars Climate Orbiter spacecraft is the 15th
>successful space launch mission supported by Alliant solid rocket boosters
>thus far during the company's fiscal year 1999, which began April 1. The
>missions, which placed 37 commercial satellites and eight government
>payloads into space, include:
> -- Eight Boeing Delta II rocket launches carrying 21 commercial satellites
>and two NASA payloads -- the Deep Space 1 spacecraft and the Mars Climate
>Orbiter spacecraft.
> -- Five launches by Pegasus XL rockets. Payloads included 16 data
>communications satellites, a NASA spacecraft that will study the solar
>atmosphere, a NASA astronomy satellite, a NASA hypersonic flight
>experiment, and a Brazilian environmental monitoring satellite.
> -- A launch by a Taurus rocket carrying an advanced experimental satellite
>for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.
> -- A launch by a Titan IV B rocket carrying a classified government
>payload. The mission was the third flight of a Titan IV B with Alliant's
>new Solid Rocket Motor Upgrade (SRMU) boosters.
> Alliant Techsystems' Space and Strategic Systems Group comprises the
>company's space and strategic propulsion and Utah-based composites
>structures operations. The group employs approximately 1,800 people in
>California, Florida, Mississippi, and Utah, and reported sales of $370
>million in fiscal year 1998. The solid rocket boosters for the Delta,
>Pegasus, Taurus, and Titan launch vehicles are manufactured at the group's
>rocket motor production facility in Magna, Utah, and composite structures
>production facility in Clearfield, Utah.
> Alliant Techsystems is a $1.1 billion aerospace and defense company with
>approximately 6,300 employees. Headquartered in Hopkins, Minn., the
>company's business groups are Conventional Munitions, Space and Strategic
>Systems, and Defense Systems. Company news and information can be found on
>the Internet at SOURCE Alliant Techsystems
>© PR Newswire. All rights reserved.

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Last modified on 17 December, 1998.