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June 8, 2010
NASA Awards Launch Services Contract For IRIS Mission

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA has selected Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va., to launch the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph spacecraft known as IRIS. The spacecraft will fly in December 2012 aboard a Pegasus XL rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

The total cost of the IRIS launch services is approximately $40 million. This estimated cost includes the task ordered launch service for a Pegasus XL, plus additional services for launch site support, integrated services, and support unique to the mission.

IRIS will make detailed measurements of the flow of energy and plasma through the sun's atmosphere and heliosphere. The IRIS mission will open a window of discovery into a crucial gap in current solar observational capabilities.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the IRIS project. NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center is responsible for program management of the launch services.

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Stephanie Schierholz
Headquarters, Washington

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

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