NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C., March 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Air India celebrated the airline’s milestone delivery of its 20th 787 Dreamliner from Boeing’s final assembly facility in North Charleston, S.C.
“Taking delivery of our 20th 787 Dreamliner marks an important day for Air India,” said Rohit Nandan, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India. “With this airplane we are building on the success of our other 787s, which are providing an exceptional experience to our passengers while allowing us to expand our network both within India and around the world.”
The new Dreamliner also features the Star Alliance livery, Air India’s – and the world’s – first 787 to do so. The flag carrier joined the leading global airline network last year, reflecting the strong network growth of the Indian aviation market.
“Today Air India joins an elite group airlines who have taken delivery of 20 or more 787s and this milestone highlights the successful partnership we have between Boeing and Air India,” said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president, Asia Pacific and India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 787 continues to provide great value to Air India, opening new routes, with superior fuel efficiency and unmatched passenger comfort.”
Air India serves more than 60 domestic and 37 international destinations. The airline has ordered 27 787 Dreamliners, with seven more scheduled to be delivered.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
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Source: Boeing Space
Boeing, Air India celebrate 20th 787 Dreamliner
DENVER, March 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — In a clean room facility near Denver, Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] technicians began assembling a NASA spacecraft that will collect samples of an asteroid for scientific study. Working toward a September 2016 launch, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will be the first U.S. mission to return samples from an asteroid back to Earth.
OSIRIS-REx – which stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer – is going to Bennu, a carbon-rich asteroid that could hold clues to the origin of the solar system and host organic molecules that may have seeded life on Earth.
The assembly, test and launch operations (ATLO) phase is a critical stage of the program because it is when the spacecraft physically comes together. Over the next six months, technicians will install on the spacecraft structure its many subsystems, including avionics, power, telecomm, mechanisms, thermal systems, and guidance, navigation and control.
“Building a spacecraft that will bring back samples from an asteroid is a unique opportunity,” said Rich Kuhns, OSIRIS-REx program manager at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. “We can feel the momentum to launch building. We’re installing the electronics in the next few weeks and shortly after we’ll power-on the spacecraft for the first time.”
During ATLO the science instruments are being delivered from the mission’s partner institutions to be integrated with the spacecraft. Once the spacecraft has been fully assembled, it will undergo rigorous environmental testing this fall.
“ATLO is a turning point in the progress of our mission. After almost four years of intense design efforts, we are now starting flight system assembly and integration of the science instruments,” said Dante Lauretta, principal investigator from the University of Arizona, Tucson. “In just over 500 days, we will begin our seven-year journey to Bennu and back. This is an exciting time.”
On March 30, the OSIRIS-REx project officially received authorization to transition into the next phase of the mission, Phase D, after completing a series of independent reviews verifying that the program’s technical, schedule and cost elements are all on course.
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will provide overall mission management, systems engineering, and safety and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx. Lockheed Martin is building the spacecraft and will provide spacecraft mission operations. OSIRIS-REx is the third mission in NASA’s New Frontiers Program. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages New Frontiers for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 112,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2014 were $45.6 billion.
For more information about the OSIRIS-REx mission:
VIDEO: Asteroids and the OSIRIS-REx Mission, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLz1CeBKb7M
Gary Napier, 303-971-4012, email@example.com
Lockheed Martin Begins Final Assembly Of NASA's OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft
WASHINGTON, March 31, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA’s Curiosity rover is using a new experiment to better understand the history of the Martian atmosphere by analyzing xenon.
While NASA’s Curiosity rover concluded its detailed examination of the rock layers of the “Pahrump Hills” in Gale Crater on Mars this winter, some members of the rover team were busy analyzing the Martian atmosphere for xenon, a heavy noble gas.
Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) experiment analyzed xenon in the planet’s atmosphere. Since noble gases are chemically inert and do not react with other substances in the air or on the ground, they are excellent tracers of the history of the atmosphere. Xenon is present in the Martian atmosphere at a challengingly low quantity and can be directly measured only with on-site experiments such as SAM.
“Xenon is a fundamental measurement to make on a planet such as Mars or Venus, since it provides essential information to understand the early history of these planets and why they turned out so differently from Earth,” said Melissa Trainer, one of the scientists analyzing the SAM data.
A planetary atmosphere is made up of different gases, which are in turn made up of variants of the same chemical element called isotopes. When a planet loses its atmosphere, that process can affect the ratios of remaining isotopes.
Measuring xenon tells us more about the history of the loss of the Martian atmosphere. The special characteristics of xenon – it exists naturally in nine different isotopes, ranging in atomic mass from 124 (with 70 neutrons per atom) to 136 (with 82 neutrons per atom) – allows us to learn more about the process by which the layers of atmosphere were stripped off of Mars than using measurements of other gases.
A process removing gas from the top of the atmosphere removes lighter isotopes more readily than heavier ones leaving a ratio higher in heavier isotopes than it was originally.
The SAM measurement of the ratios of the nine xenon isotopes traces a very early period in the history of Mars when a vigorous atmospheric escape process was pulling away even the heavy xenon gas. The lighter isotopes were escaping just a bit faster than the heavy isotopes.
Those escapes affected the ratio of isotopes in the atmosphere left behind, and the ratios today are a signature retained in the atmosphere for billions of years. This signature was first inferred several decades ago from isotope measurements on small amounts of Martian atmospheric gas trapped in rocks from Mars that made their way to Earth as meteorites.
“We are seeing a remarkably close match of the in-situ data to that from bits of atmosphere captured in some of the Martian meteorites,” said SAM Deputy Principal Investigator Pan Conrad.
SAM previously measured the ratio of two isotopes of a different noble gas, argon. The results pointed to continuous loss over time of much of the original atmosphere of Mars.
The xenon experiment required months of careful testing at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, using a close copy of the SAM instrument enclosed in a chamber that simulates the Mars environment. This testing was led by Goddard’s Charles Malespin, who developed and optimized the sequence of instructions for SAM to carry out on Mars.
“I’m gratified that we were able to successfully execute this run on Mars and demonstrate this new capability for Curiosity,” said Malespin.
NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Project is using Curiosity to determine if life was possible on Mars and study major changes in Martian environmental conditions. NASA studies Mars to learn more about our own planet, and in preparation for future human missions to Mars. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, a division of Caltech, manages the project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
For more information about SAM, visit:
SAM experiment data are archived in the Planetary Data System, online at:
For more information about Curiosity, visit:
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Curiosity Sniffs Out History of Martian Atmosphere