USA AND CANADA SIGN SPACE AGREEMENT

At a ceremony held Monday at NASA Headquarters in
Washington, NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale and Canadian Space
Agency (CSA) President and Chief Executive Officer Laurier J.
Boisvert signed the official agreement that defines the terms of the
agencies’ cooperation on the James Webb Space Telescope.

According to the agreement, NASA will be responsible for the overall
management and operations of the mission and will build the
spacecraft, the telescope, and the platform that will host the
instruments.

“We’re delighted to have the Canadian Space Agency’s participation on
the James Webb Telescope,” said Dale. “This unique telescope is a
wonderful example of international cooperation, and Canada is a key
partner in this next major step to discover more about the origins of
the cosmos.”

The Canadian Space Agency plans to provide the fine guidance sensor
instrument, used for locating and maintaining a fixed pointing on a
guide star. This instrument will provide the observatory with the
stability necessary for taking sharp images with the telescope. The
agency will assist in the operation of the James Webb Space Telescope
and related facilities and arrange for participation of astronomers
from the Canadian science team in the observation program.

“Canada’s collaboration on the James Webb Space Telescope,” Boisvert
said, “strengthens our outstanding and longstanding partnership with
NASA and positions Canadian science and technology in the forefront
of space exploration.”
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Ariane 5 takes shape at the Spaceport

The pace of mission activity at Europe’s Spaceport is accelerating as another Ariane 5 takes shape to support Arianespace’s sustained launch schedule during the second half of 2007.

This new vehicle is a heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA, which is to be used for the upcoming dual-payload mission with the SPACEWAY 3 and BSAT-3a satellites. Its processing began with erection and positioning of Ariane 5’s cryogenic core stage over the mobile launch table in the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building.

As this Ariane 5 ECA takes form, a nearly-complete Ariane 5 GS launcher is awaiting its turn in the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building. The Ariane 5 GS underwent its build-up during May/June, and is scheduled to orbit the Intelsat-11 and Horizons-2 satellites on an Arianespace mission in mid September.

Arianespace is targeting the launch of six Ariane 5s in 2007 – with two of these flights already performed so far this year.

The company is accelerating its Ariane 5 launch rate to meet customer demand, reaching a stabilized pace of eight missions annually by 2009.

Following Arianespace’s 2007 launches with our Mission Updates at:
http://www.arianespace.com

SUCCESSFUL SPACECRAFT GET NEW ASSIGNMENTS

Two NASA spacecraft now have new assignments after
successfully completing their missions. The duo will make new
observations of comets and characterize extrasolar planets. Stardust
and Deep Impact will use their flight-proven hardware to perform new,
previously unplanned, investigations.

“These mission extensions are as exciting as it gets. They will allow
us to revisit a comet for the first time, add another to the list of
comets explored and make a search for small planets around stars with
known large planets. And by using existing spacecraft in flight, we
can accomplish all of this for only about 15 percent of the cost of
starting a new mission from scratch,” said Alan Stern, associate
administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Headquarters,
Washington. “These new mission assignments for veteran spacecraft
represent not only creative thinking and planning, but are also a
prime example of getting more from the budget we have.”

The EPOXI mission melds two compelling science investigations — the
Deep Impact Extended Investigation (DIXI) and the Extrasolar Planet
Observation and Characterization (EPOCh). Both investigations will be
performed using the Deep Impact spacecraft, which finished its prime
mission in 2005.

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NASA READIES MARS LANDER FOR AUGUST LAUNCH

NASA’s next Mars mission will look beneath a frigid arctic landscape for conditions favorable to past or present life.

Instead of roving to hills or craters, NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander will
claw down into the icy soil of the Red Planet’s northern plains. The
robot will investigate whether frozen water near the Martian surface
might periodically melt enough to sustain a livable environment for
microbes. To accomplish that and other key goals, Phoenix will carry
a set of advanced research tools never before used on Mars.

First, however, it must launch from Florida during a three-week period
beginning Aug. 3, then survive a risky descent and landing on Mars
next spring.

“Our ‘follow the water’ strategy for exploring Mars has yielded a
string of dramatic discoveries in recent years about the history of
water on a planet where similarities with Earth were much greater in
the past than they are today,” said Doug McCuistion, director of the
Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters, Washington. “Phoenix
will complement our strategic exploration of Mars by being our first
attempt to actually touch and analyze Martian water — water in the
form of buried ice.”

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