Search Marshall

Go

Text Size

NASA's GLAST Launch Successful
06.11.08
 
J.D. Harrington
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-5241
j.d.harrington@nasa.gov

Rob Gutro
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
301-286-4044/443-858-1779
robert.j.gutro@nasa.gov

George Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
321-861-7643
george.h.diller@nasa.gov

Jennifer Morcone
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
256-544-0034
Jennifer.j.morcone@nasa.gov

Lynn Cominsky
Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, Calif.
707-695-7140
lynnc@universe.sonoma.edu

News release: H-08-141


A United Launch Alliance Delta II Heavy rocket launches NASA's Gamma-ray large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) satellite. CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, or GLAST, successfully launched aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 12:05 p.m. EDT today.

The GLAST observatory separated from the second stage of the Delta II at 1:20 p.m. and the flight computer immediately began powering up the components necessary to control the satellite. Twelve minutes after separating from the launch vehicle, both GLAST solar arrays were deployed. The arrays immediately began producing the power necessary to maintain the satellite and instruments. The operations team continues to check out the spacecraft subsystems.

"The entire GLAST Team is elated the observatory is now on-orbit and all systems continue to operate as planned," said GLAST program manager Kevin Grady of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

After a 75-minute flight, the GLAST spacecraft was deployed into low Earth orbit. It will begin to transmit initial instrument data after about three weeks. The telescope will explore the most extreme environments in the universe, searching for signs of new laws of physics and investigating what composes mysterious dark matter. It will seek explanations for how black holes accelerate immense jets of material to nearly light speed, and look for clues to crack the mysteries behind powerful explosions known as gamma-ray bursts.

"After a 60-day checkout and initial calibration period, we'll begin science operations," said Steve Ritz, GLAST project scientist at Goddard. "GLAST soon will be telling scientists about many new objects to study, and this information will be available on the internet for the world to see."

NASA's GLAST mission is an astrophysics and particle physics partnership, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, along with important contributions from academic institutions and partners in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the U.S.

For more information about the GLAST mission, please visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/glast


For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov