A Boeing (NYSE: BA) Delta II rocket successfully launched NASA's Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) into space today on a quest for the origins of the universe.
Liftoff occurred at 3:46 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 17B. Approximately one hour and 26 minutes later, the Boeing Delta II deployed the MAP spacecraft.
"Our job is to give MAP a safe ride into space," said Joy Bryant, director of NASA Expendable Launch Programs for Boeing. "The launch is a highly crucial part of the mission and we have put enormous time and effort into ensuring its success. Today all of that hard work paid off."
The MAP mission is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. and was built in partnership with Princeton University in Princeton, NJ. The mission's goal is to determine the history, content, shape, and fate of the universe. Since light from distant stars can take millions of years to reach earth, the pictures that MAP takes will represent the universe from just after the time of the Big Bang.
To date, Boeing Delta rockets have successfully launched more than 190 NASA missions dating back to 1960. Since 1997, the Boeing Delta II has performed flawlessly.
The Boeing Company is the largest aerospace company in the world and the United States' leading exporter. It is the world's largest NASA contractor and manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft. The company's capabilities in aerospace also include rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, rocket engines, launch vehicles, satellites, and advanced information and communication systems. The company has an extensive global reach with customers in 145 countries and manufacturing operations throughout the United States, Canada and Australia.
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