Orbital Sciences to Launch NASA’s IRIS Mission
[Satellite TODAY 06-10-10] NASA has selected Orbital Sciences to launch the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) spacecraft in December 2012 aboard a Pegasus XL rocket from Vandenberg U.S. Air Force Base, Calif., NASA announced June 8.
The launch services contract is valued at about $40 million, including additional services for launch site support, integrated services, and support unique to the mission.
IRIS will measure the flow of energy and plasma through the Sun’s atmosphere and heliosphere. NASA hopes the data will cover crucial gaps in current solar observational capabilities. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center will manage the IRIS project, with Kennedy Space Center responsible for launch program management.