ULA Successfully Launches 2nd NASA Payload in Just 12 Days
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket successfully launched NASA's Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) payload at 10:02 a.m. PST today from Space Launch Complex-3. This was the 2nd ULA launch of the year, the 36th Atlas V mission, and the 68th ULA launch in just over six years.
"We are privileged to work together with NASA and such a strong LDCM mission team," said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Mission Operations. "This is the second NASA mission ULA has launched in just 12 days. The ability to successfully execute this launch rate is a testament to a very dedicated and skilled workforce, excellent teamwork with our NASA customer and all of our mission partners, and a one-launch-at-a-time focus that enabled both the TDRS-K launch on Jan. 30 and today's LDCM launch, both of which delivered critical capabilities to orbit."
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Today's mission was launched aboard an Atlas V 401 configuration vehicle, which includes a 4-meter diameter payload fairing. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine and the Centaur upper stage was powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) RL10A-4 engine.
The Landsat Program provides repetitive acquisition of high resolution multispectral data of the Earth's surface on a global basis. The data from the Landsat spacecraft constitute the longest record of the Earth's continental surfaces as seen from space.
ULA's next launch is the Atlas V SBIRS GEO-2 mission for the Air Force scheduled for March 19, 2013, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Source : United Launch Alliance