February 13, 2013
The United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing (NYSE: BA ) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT ) , announced in a press statement Monday that it successfully launched an Atlas V rocket carrying a NASA Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) load. The Monday launch marked the second Atlas V rocket launch in just 12 days and the second this year.
The ULA has another scheduled Atlas V launch coming up next month, when one of its rockets is scheduled to take off March 19 from Cape Canaveral with a missile-warning satellite payload from the U.S. Air Force.
ULA Vice President of Mission Operations Jim Sponnick was quoted in the press release as saying, "This is the second NASA mission ULA has launched in just 12 days. The ability to successfully execute this launch rate is a testament to a very dedicated and skilled workforce, excellent teamwork with our NASA customer and all of our mission partners..."
The Landsat program provides "repetitive acquisition of high resolution multispectral data of the Earth's surface on a global basis. The data from the Landsat spacecraft constitute the longest record of the Earth's continental surfaces as seen from space," according to the ULA. This week's launch was the 68th ULA launch in just over six years.