Delta Rocket to Launch Probe into Birth of Solar System
23 Jul 2001
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. - A Boeing Delta II rocket is poised to help NASA investigate the beginnings of our solar system by launching Genesis into a halo orbit between the Earth and Sun. The spacecraft's goal is to capture and return the first sample of extraterrestrial material in the new millennium.
The Boeing Delta II is tasked with completing one of the most crucial phases of this mission by launching the Genesis spacecraft during a two-minute window from Space Launch Complex 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on July 30 at 12:36 p.m. EDT.
"We have worked closely with NASA on nearly 200 missions, bringing forth tremendous results," said Rich Murphy, Boeing mission director for the Genesis launch.
"While the Boeing Delta II launch success rate leads the market, we remain vigilant in making certain the Genesis launch builds on this highly successful track record."
The results from the Genesis mission will help scientists better understand the formation of planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and the sun.
The Boeing Delta II 7326 first stage features the Boeing Rocketdyne RS-27A main engine and three solid-rocket motors. It will provide more than 500,000 pounds of thrust to send Genesis into a halo orbit around the sun at one of Earth's Lagrange points (L1), where the gravitational pull between the Earth and sun is balanced.
After 30 months in space, the sample particles captured by Genesis will be brought back to Earth for an exciting mid-air helicopter recovery.
Boeing remains NASA's preferred launch service provider with a proven history of success. During the most recent NASA mission aboard a Boeing Delta II, the rocket placed MAP on its course with such great precision and accuracy that NASA mission managers found it unnecessary to perform spacecraft-controlled adjustments. The result translates into additional station-keeping fuel and an extended probe life.
The Boeing Company is the largest aerospace company in the world and the United States' leading exporter. It is the world's largest NASA contractor and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft. The company's capabilities in aerospace also include rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, rocket engines, launch vehicles, and advanced information and communication systems. The company has an extensive global reach with customers in 145 countries and manufacturing operations throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia.