Aerospace Provides Independent Assessment of NASA Launch Vehicles (Pegasus XL, Taurus XL, Delta II, Delta IV, and Atlas V)Corporate Staff
posted November 30, 2012
For the past nine years, Aerospace has provided independent assessment of NASA launch vehicles. Aerospace provides weekly reports to NASA KSC Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) that include notes and assessments for contractor reviews (e.g., engineering review boards, anomaly review boards, and mission milestone reviews), as well as developments in ongoing failure analyses, production, design, and qualification. NASA Launch Services (NLS) contracted launches use a variety of launch vehicles including Pegasus XL, Taurus XL, Delta II, and Atlas V. To date, there has not been a NLS-contracted Delta IV launch; however, NASA KSC and Aerospace supported the GOES-O and GOES-N launches on Delta IV M+4,2s in advisory roles to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Aerospace also provides day-of-launch (DOL) support using its Space Technology Area Roadmaps (STARS) facility.
Aerospace leverages our expertise developed in support of several customers that use these same launch vehicles to provide NASA valuable information mined from a variety of sources to supplement work funded directly by NASA. This broad perspective and information sharing allows Aerospace to focus capabilities and lessons learned on work performed for other customers on the issues of greatest interest to the NASA customer. Since the information sharing is moving in both directions, the NASA work produces information and reports useful to Aerospace organizations and customers. In addition to the weekly reports and DOL support, Aerospace provides white papers and position papers that have proven highly useful to NASA for risk assessment, as well as insightful editorial comments on the NASA KSC S&MA safety readiness review that is presented by NASA KSC S&MA to NASA Headquarters Safety.
The 2011 NLS-contracted launches included:
- March 5, 2011, Taurus XL Glory from VAFB SLC 576-E,
- June 10, 2011, Delta II Aquarius from VAFB SLC-2,
- Aug. 5, 2011, Atlas V AV-029 Juno from CCAFS SLC-41,
- Sept. 10, 2011, Delta II Heavy GRAIL from CCAFS SLC-17B, and
- Oct. 28, 2011, Delta II NPP from VAFB SLC-2.
- Nov. 26, 2011, ILC Atlas V AV-028 MSL from CCAFS SLC-41