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ILS To Launch Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter For NASA On Atlas V


Payload: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
Separated mass: Approx. 4,806 lbs (2,180 kg)

Launch Vehicle: Atlas V-401, designated AV-007
Weight at liftoff: 740,000 lbs (336,000 kg),
including payload
Fairing: 13.75 ft (4 m) diameter
Height: 188 ft (57 m)

Launch Date: Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2005

Launch Window: 1 hour 45 minutes
7:54-9:39 a.m. EDT
5:54-7:39 a.m. MDT
4:54-6:39 a.m. PDT
11:54-13:39 GMT

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Complex 41

Launch Customer: NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Spacecraft End User: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Spacecraft Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Denver, Colo.

Launch Vehicle Manufacturer: Atlas vehicle and Centaur upper stage built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver, Colo.; San Diego, Calif.; and Harlingen, Texas.

Launch Services Provider: International Launch Services, McLean, Va.

Spacecraft Use: To search for evidence of water on Mars, using extreme close-up photography; analyzing minerals; examining the subsurface with radar; and monitoring daily weather. The orbiter also will establish a crucial data link and will seek suitable landing sites for future spacecraft.

Spacecraft Statistics:

  • 6.5 m (21 feet) high
  • 13.6 m (45 feet) wide
  • 3 m (10-foot) diameter dish antenna
  • 2 kw solar panel power at farthest point from sun
  • 6 science instruments (hyper-spectral imaging spectrometer; very-high-resolution camera; context camera; color camera; climate sounder; shallow subsurface radar)

Mission Profile: Earth escape mission (hyperbolic departure orbit), with two Centaur burns. Event times will depend on the actual launch date; the following timeline summary assumes an Aug. 10 launch. The Atlas V vehicle will lift off from Pad 41. After about 4 minutes, the Atlas booster stage will burn out and separate from the Centaur upper stage. The Centaur will ignite and shortly thereafter the payload fairing will be jettisoned. After about 9 more minutes, the Centaur main engine will cut off and the vehicle will coast about 35 minutes in an elliptical parking orbit. The Centaur will then ignite a second time, burning about 5.5 minutes before releasing the spacecraft on its seven-month voyage to Mars.

Spacecraft Separation: Approximately 58 minutes after liftoff

Parking Orbit Parameters:
Apogee Altitude: 100 nm (185 km/115 statute miles)
Perigee Altitude: 80 nm (148 km/92 statute miles)

ILS Mission Statistics:

  • 6th flight of Atlas V vehicle
  • 1st Atlas V launch for NASA and U.S. government
  • 134th Atlas launch for NASA
  • Atlas family has perfect record in 76 consecutive flights
  • 3rd Atlas mission this year
  • 5th mission for ILS this year

All times are EDT

Pre-launch Briefing: 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9
NASA News Center
Kennedy Space Center
This also will be carried on NASA TV.

Remote Camera Set-up: 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9. Accredited photographers should meet at KSC News Center to board a van that will take them to Complex 41.

Vehicle Rollout: 10:44 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9. News media should meet at the KSC News Center at 10:15 p.m. to board a van that will take them to the viewing site. RSVP required by close of business Aug. 8 by calling KSC News Center at 321-867-2468.

Launch Viewing: We will use the KSC Press Site; for credentials, contact KSC News Center at 321-867-2468.

Live Broadcast: ILS will webcast the launch at www.ilslaunch.com beginning approximately 7:40 a.m. NASA's launch broadcast will be carried on NASA TV beginning at 5:30 a.m.

More Information: General mission information and launch highlights will be available on the ILS website at www.ilslaunch.com. Launch status updates will be available on the ILS U.S. domestic Launch Hotline at 1-800-852-4980.
Mission information also is available at www.nasa.gov/mro and marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov.

CONTACT: Fran Slimmer, ILS, McLean, Va.,1-571-633-7462; mobile phone: 1-646-229-4801; Cape Canaveral, 1-321-476-5283; fran.slimmer@lmco.com

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