NASA's MESSENGER mission, launched in 2004, is slated to slide into Mercury's orbit March 17 after a harrowing 4.7 billion mile journey that involved 15 loops around the sun and will bring relief and renewed excitement to the University of Colorado Boulder team that designed and a built an $8.7 million instrument onboard.
The first month of 2011 got off to a promising start at Denver International Airport (DIA) with a reported total of 3,928,196 passengers traveling through the facility in January. The figure represents a four percent increase over the 3,776,133 travelers who used the airport during the same month last year. DIA recently announced that 2010 was a record-breaking year with more than 52 million passengers flying in and out of the nation’s fifth-busiest airport.
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office lifted off from Space Launch Complex-37 at Canaveral on March 11. The mission is in support of national defense. This marks the fourth NRO launch accomplished by ULA since Sept. 20, 2010 and occurred just six days after the Atlas V launch of the OTV-2 mission.
On March 5, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket successfully launched the second Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-2) for the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office (AFRCO) from Space Launch Complex- 41. The OTV, also known as the X-37B, supports space experimentation, risk reduction, and concept of operations development for long duration and reusable space vehicle technologies. The first OTV mission was also successfully launched by a ULA Atlas V from Space Launch Complex-41, on Apr. 22, 2010. It later landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Dec. 3. “The ULA team is proud to have played a critical role in successfully launching both of these important missions of the Orbital Test Vehicle for the Air Force RCO,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Mission Operations. “It took a tremendous amount of teamwork to successfully launch both vehicles in less than a year. I am confident that the information collected by the Rapid Capabilities Office from these missions will lead to even bigger and bolder missions in the future. Congratulations to the combined Air Force and ULA launch team and our many mission partners that made today’s successful launch possible.”
United Launch Alliance (ULA) completed the most significant portion of the final milestone for its Commercial Crew Development Emergency Detection System (EDS) project last month, demonstrating the EDS test bed in ULA’s Denver Launch Support Center using the high fidelity Systems Integration Laboratory (SIL).
In 2010 Denver International Airport (DIA) unveiled plans for the South Terminal Redevelopment Program which will transform the airport into an intermodal transportation hub. When completed in 2015, the program's three major elements-rail access to downtown Denver's Union Station, an on-site Westin Hotel, and an outdoor plaza-will elevate DIA as one of the premier airports in the world.
NASA's Stardust-NExT spacecraft made a Valentine's Day deep-space rendezvous with an object it had been seeking for the past four-and-a-half years. The Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)-built spacecraft flawlessly executed its mission and performed a flyby of comet Tempel 1 at 9:39 p.m. MT on February 14, 2011.
The Lockheed Martin Orion team shipped out the first Orion crew module spacecraft structure today from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, La. The spacecraft is headed to Lockheed Martin’s Denver, Colo., facilities where it will undergo a series of rigorous tests to confirm Orion’s ability to safely fly astronauts through all the harsh environments of deep space exploration missions.
The Denver Metro Small Business Development Center will offer Denver metro businesses a nine-month coaching program designed to catapult established businesses to the next level of growth. The Growth Catalyst Business Coaching Program is available to business owners who have been operating for at least two years and assists them in establishing a three-year vision for their companies.
NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver visited Boulder, Colo. today to meet with entrepreneurs and discuss innovations in space exploration and technology development critical to America's future in space.