Tag Archives: Atlas V

NASA technology (87)


Landsat 8′s First Year

NASA – On Feb. 11, 2013, the Landsat 8 satellite rocketed into a sunny California morning onboard a powerful Atlas V and began its life in orbit.

In the year since launch, scientists have been working to understand the information the satellite has been sending back. Some have been calibrating the data—checking it against ground observations and matching it to the rest of the 42-year-long Landsat record. At the same time, the broader science community has been learning to use the new data.

The map above—one of the first complete views of the United States from Landsat 8—is an example of how scientists are testing Landsat 8 data. David Roy, a co-leader of the USGS-NASA Landsat science team and researcher at South Dakota State University, made the map with observations taken during August 2013 by the satellite’s Operational Land Imager.

The strips in the image above are a result of the way Landsat 8 operates. Like its predecessors, Landsat 8 collects data in 185-kilometer (115-mile) wide strips called swaths or paths. Each orbit follows a predetermined ground track so that the same path is imaged each time an orbit is repeated.

It takes 233 paths and 16 days to cover all of the land on Earth.

This means that every land surface has the potential to be imaged once every 16 days, giving Roy two or three opportunities to get a cloud-free view of each pixel in the United States in a month.

Image Credit: NASA/David Roy

NASA technology (86)


Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Launch Lights Up the Night Sky

NASA – A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lights up the night sky over Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida as it carries NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, or TDRS-L, to Earth orbit. Launch was at 9:33 p.m. EST on Thursday, Jan. 23 during a 40-minute launch window.

The TDRS-L spacecraft is the second of three new satellites designed to ensure vital operational continuity for NASA by expanding the lifespan of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) fleet, which consists of eight satellites in geosynchronous orbit. The spacecraft provide tracking, telemetry, command and high-bandwidth data return services for numerous science and human exploration missions orbiting Earth. These include NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station. TDRS-L has a high-performance solar panel designed for more spacecraft power to meet the growing S-band communications requirements. TDRSS is one of three NASA Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) networks providing space communications to NASA’s missions.

> More about TDRS-L

Image Credit: NASA/Dan Casper

Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Ready For Launch From Cape Canaveral

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-L) spacecraft on board arrives at the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 41. Liftoff is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 23 at 9:05 p.m. EST, the opening of a 40-minute launch window. Live coverage on NASA TV begins at 6:30 p.m.

The TDRS-L spacecraft is the second of three new satellites designed to ensure vital operational continuity for NASA by expanding the lifespan of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) fleet, which consists of eight satellites in geosynchronous orbit. The spacecraft provide tracking, telemetry, command and high bandwidth data return services for numerous science and human exploration missions orbiting Earth. These include NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station. TDRS-L has a high-performance solar panel designed for more spacecraft power to meet the growing S-band communications requirements. TDRSS is one of NASA’s three Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) networks providing space communications to NASA missions.

> More about TDRS-L
> Launch Blog

Image Credit: NASA/Daniel Casper

NASA technology (74)


Taking Flight at Cape Canaveral

NASA – The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft launches from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, Cape Canaveral, Florida. NASA’s Mars-bound spacecraft, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

MAVEN Spacecraft Launches to Mars

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft launches aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 1:28 p.m. EST on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013.

MAVEN is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. The trip to Mars takes 10 months, and MAVEN will go into orbit around Mars in September 2014. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

MAVEN Ready for Launch

At Cape Canaveral Air Force Station‘s Space Launch Complex 41 a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket stands ready to boost the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft on a 10-month journey to the Red Planet. MAVEN is being prepared for its scheduled launch today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Positioned in an orbit above the Red Planet, MAVEN will study the upper atmosphere of Mars in unprecedented detail. Image Credit: NASA/Jim Grossman

NASA technology (73)


Night Before Launch of Mars-Bound MAVEN Spacecraft

NASA – A full moon rises behind the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft onboard at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Nov. 17, 2013.

MAVEN is the second mission under NASA’s Mars Scout Program. It will take critical measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere to help scientists understand climate change over the Red Planet’s history. MAVEN is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Mars-Bound MAVEN at the Launch Pad

Two days before the scheduled launch tp Mars, the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft rolled out of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA technology (72)


MAVEN Spacecraft Positioned Atop Atlas V Rocket

NASA – NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) spacecraft, inside a payload fairing, is hoisted to the top of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at the Vertical Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station‘s Space Launch Complex 41. The move and hoisting operations mark another major milestone for the launch team as everything proceeds on schedule to launch Nov. 18, when the Atlas V will lift MAVEN into space and on to Mars. The two-hour launch window extends from 1:28 to 3:28 p.m. EST.

MAVEN is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. It will orbit the planet in an elliptical orbit that allows it to pass through and sample the entire upper atmosphere on every orbit. The spacecraft will investigate how the loss of Mars’ atmosphere to space determined the history of water on the surface.

> MAVEN Launch Information

Image Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett