[meteorite-list] Government Shutdown Puts MAVEN Launch Preparations On Hold

From: hall at meteorhall.com <hall_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2013 18:53:42 -0400
Message-ID: <5f5d942b62afa4d5688f411861a21183.squirrel_at_emailmg.ipage.com>

Come on Michael, only the very wealthy need medical treatment. Cast the
poor aside. Science is only good when it helps the extremely rich.
Exploring Mars and understanding meteorites is a waste of money...vote
Fred Hall

> Ahhhh the genius of the GOP.
> Gonna cost the USA billions and billions all for a temper tantrum.
> Michael Farmer
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On Oct 1, 2013, at 3:49 PM, Ron Baalke <baalke at zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>
>> wrote:
>> http://www.spaceflightnow.com/atlas/av038/131001shutdown/
>> Government shutdown puts MAVEN launch preps on hold
>> October 1, 2013
>> Without funding to pay for numerous programs and research, engineers
>> began
>> shutting down work on a $671 million Mars science orbiter at the Kennedy
>> Space Center on Tuesday, halting critical preparations ahead of the
>> mission's
>> narrow interplanetary launch window in November.
>> The launch window, which opens Nov. 18 and extends to Dec. 7, is
>> restricted
>> by the locations of Earth and Mars. Launch opportunities to the red
>> planet
>> only come once every 26 months.
>> The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft was on
>> schedule to launch from Florida on Nov. 18 aboard a United Launch
>> Alliance
>> Atlas 5 rocket. The launch will put MAVEN on a 10-month journey to
>> Mars,
>> with arrival in orbit at the red planet set for Sept. 22, 2014.
>> But the launch date could be in jeopardy if the federal government's
>> partial
>> shutdown lasts more than a week. The shutdown began at midnight EDT
>> Tuesday,
>> at the beginning of a new fiscal year, because Congress failed to agree
>> on a federal budget.
>> NASA will continue operating missions in flight, such as the
>> International
>> Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Curiosity rover now
>> on Mars, but the space agency, acting on orders from the Office of
>> Management
>> and Budget, halted development and testing of spacecraft still on Earth
>> awaiting launch.
>> "MAVEN has not been classed as exempt from the shutdown, so our plan is
>> to carry out an orderly shutdown," said Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN's principal
>> investigator from the University of Colorado at Boulder's Laboratory for
>> Atmospheric and Space Physics.
>> NASA and Lockheed Martin Corp., MAVEN's prime contractor, were preparing
>> the spacecraft inside a clean room at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in
>> Florida.
>> MAVEN carries a suite of instruments to study how gases escape from the
>> upper atmosphere of Mars, which could tell scientists how the red planet
>> evolved from a world hospitable for life to the barren planet of today.
>> "In an orderly shut down, the key thing is to ensure that all the
>> hardware
>> is in a safe and known state so that we can pick it up again when we
>> resume,
>> and that it is protected against environmental problems," Jakosky said.
>> Uneasy with MAVEN's launch schedule following the government shutdown,
>> officials said they are evaluating whether this fall's launch window
>> could
>> be extended a few days into mid-December to buy more time.
>> If MAVEN missed this year's launch window, the next chance to launch the
>> probe toward Mars would be in early 2016.
>> Engineers made good progress on MAVEN since the orbiter arrived at KSC
>> from its factory in Denver on Aug. 2, said Guy Beutelschies, Lockheed
>> Martin's MAVEN program manager, in an interview Friday.
>> Beutelschies said the MAVEN team was working with nine days of schedule
>> margin to meet the Nov. 18 launch date.
>> Technicians ensured all of MAVEN's systems still functioned after the
>> cross-country flight from Denver, installed the satellite's flight
>> batteries,
>> put the spacecraft through mission simulations, tested its
>> communications
>> with NASA's network of tracking antennas, and unfurled its solar panels
>> to check their deployment mechanisms, according to Beutelschies.
>> The next steps were to finish up testing of MAVEN's propulsion system
>> and put the cubical spacecraft on a spin table to check its mass
>> properties.
>> MAVEN's load of toxic hydrazine propellant was scheduled to be pumped
>> into the orbiter's propellant tank in late October, and Lockheed Martin
>> was planning to hand over the spacecraft to United Launch Alliance on
>> Nov. 1 for attachment to the Atlas 5 rocket's payload adapter and
>> encapsulation
>> inside the launcher's four-meter-diameter payload fairing.
>> "The team, absolutely across the board, institutions and individuals
>> alike,
>> is totally committed to doing whatever it takes to launch on time,"
>> Jakosky
>> said Monday. "We're prepared to schedule double shifts and work seven
>> days if necessary, ensuring, of course, that we do things safely and
>> technically
>> correctly. We'll have to wait and see what the feds do over the next one
>> to several days."
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Received on Wed 02 Oct 2013 06:53:42 PM PDT

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