Astronomy:List of Launch Services Program launches

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The launch history of NASA's Launch Services Program (LSP) since the program formed in 1998 at Kennedy Space Center. The unmanned launches of NASA robotic missions occurred from a number of launch sites on a variety of rockets. After the list of launches are descriptions of select historic LSP missions.[1][2]

Launch history

The table below is a complete history of the NASA robotic spacecraft launched by the Launch Services Program [3][4] The dates are relative to the launch site and may not match the UTC date.

+ LSP Advisory Mission
* The total cost for NASA to launch the mission includes the launch service, spacecraft processing, payload integration, tracking, data and telemetry, mission unique launch site ground support, and other launch support requirements. All costs listed are approximate. Some spacecraft were awarded as a group, which is why their cost is listed as 1 of a number of spacecraft. Unless the reference specifies otherwise, the value is at award (i.e. when the launch service contract is signed) and does not account for additional costs due to delays and other factors or any cost savings that may have occurred later.

1990s

Launch Date Mission Vehicle Launch Site Total Launch Cost* (million)
1998[3]
1998.10.24 Deep Space 1 Delta II 7326-9.5 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17A)
1998.12.06 Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS) Pegasus XL Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB)
1998.12.11 Mars Climate Orbiter Delta II 7425 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17A)
1999[3][5]
1999.01.03 Mars Polar Lander Delta II 7425 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17B)
1999.02.07 Stardust Delta II 7426 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17A)
1999.03.04 Wide Field Infrared Explorer (WIRE) Pegasus XL Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB)
1999.04.15 Landsat 7 Delta II 7920-10 Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W)
1999.05.18 TERRIERS/Multiple Paths, Beyond-Line-of-Sight Communications (MUBLCOM) Pegasus XL Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB)
1999.06.20 QuikSCAT (Quick Scatterometer) Titan II Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 4 West (VAFB SLC-4W)
1999.06.24 Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) Delta II 7320-10 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17A)
1999.12.18 Terra Atlas II-AS Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 3 East (VAFB SLC-3E)

2000-2004

Launch Date Mission Vehicle Launch Site Total Launch Cost* (million)
2000[3][6]
2000.03.25 Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) Delta II 7326-9.5 Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W)
2000.05.03 Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-L (GOES-L) Atlas II-A Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 36A (CCAFS SLC-36A)
2000.06.30 Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-H (TDRS-H) Atlas II-A Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 36B (CCAFS SLC-36B)
2000.09.21 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-L (NOAA-L) Titan II Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 4 West (VAFB SLC-4W)
2000.10.09 High Energy Transient Explorer-2 (HETE-2) Pegasus XL Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Atoll $0.10 (min); 1 of 16 for $400 max[7]
2000.11.21 Earth Observing-1 (EO-1)/ SAC-C Delta II 7320-10 Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W)
2001[3][8]
2001.04.07 2001 Mars Odyssey Delta II 7925 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17)
2001.06.30 Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Delta II 7425 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17)
2001.07.23 Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-M (GOES-M) Atlas II Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 36 (CCAFS SLC-36)
2001.08.08 Genesis Delta II 7326-9.5 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17A)
2001.09.29 Kodiak Star Athena I Kodiak Island
2001.12.07 Jason-1/Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) Delta II 7920-10 Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W)
2002[3][9]
2002.02.05 Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) Pegasus XL Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) $0.10 (min); 1 of 16 for $400 max[7][10]
2002.03.08 Tracking and Data Relay Satellite TDRS-I Atlas II-A Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 36A (CCAFS SLC-36A)
2002.05.04 AQUA (EOS PM-1) Delta II 7920-10L Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W)
2002.06.24 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-M (NOAA-M) Titan II Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 4 (VAFB SLC-4W)
2002.07.03 COmet Nucleus TOUR (CONTOUR) Delta II 7425 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17A)
2002.12.04 Tracking and Data Relay Satellite TDRS-J Atlas II-A Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 36A (CCAFS SLC-36A)
2003 [3][11]
2003.01.12 Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) /Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer satellite (CHIPSat) Delta II 7320-10 Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W)
2003.01.25 Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) Pegasus XL Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) $0.10 (min); 1 of 16 for $400 max[7]
2003.04.28 Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) Pegasus XL Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) $0.10 (min); 1 of 16 for $400 max[7]
2003.06.10 Mars Exploration Rover – A (MER-A) Spirit Rover Delta II 7925-9.5 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17A)
2003.07.07 Mars Exploration Rover – B (MER-B) Opportunity Rover Delta II Heavy 7925H-9.5 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17B)
2003.08.12 SCISAT-1 Pegasus XL Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) $0.10 (min); 1 of 16 for $400 max[7]
2003.08.25 Spitzer Space Telescope (formerly the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF)) Delta II Heavy 7920H-9.5 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17)
2004[12]
2004.04.20 Gravity Probe B (GP-B) Delta II 7920-10C Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W)
2004.07.15 Aura (EOS CH-1) Delta II 7920-10L Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W)
2004.08.03 MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) Delta II Heavy 7925H-9.5 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17)
2004.11.20 Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission (Swift) Delta II 7320-10C Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17)

2005-2009

Launch Date Mission Vehicle Launch Site Total Launch Cost* (million)
2005[13]
2005.01.12 Deep Impact Delta II 7925-9.5 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17)
2005.04.15 Demonstration for Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) Pegasus XL Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB)
2005.05.20 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-N (NOAA-N) Delta II 7320-10C Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W)
2005.08.12 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Atlas V 401 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41)
2006[14]
2006.01.19 New Horizons (Pluto) Atlas V 551 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41)
2006.03.22 Space Technology 5 (ST-5) Pegasus XL Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB)
2006.04.28 CloudSat/Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) Delta II 7420-10C Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W) 1 of 19 for $1200[15]
2006.10.25 Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) Delta II 7925-10L Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17) 1 of 19 for $1200[15]
2007[16]
2007.02.17 Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) Delta II 7925-10C Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17) 1 of 19 for $1200[15]
2007.04.25 Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) Pegasus XL Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB)
2007.08.04 Phoenix Delta II 7925 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17) 1 of 19 for $1200[15]
2007.09.27 Dawn Delta II Heavy 7925H-9.5 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17) 1 of 19 for $1200[15]
2008[17]
2008.06.11 Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (formerly GLAST) Delta II Heavy 7920H-10C Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17) 1 of 19 for $1200[15]
2008.06.20 Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 Delta II 7320 Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W) 1 of 19 for $1200[15]
2008.10.19 Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) Pegasus XL Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Atoll
2009[18]
2009.02.06 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-N Prime (NOAA-N Prime) Delta II 7320-10C Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W) 1 of 19 for $1200[15]
2009.02.24 Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) [launch failure] Taurus XL Vandenberg AFB Launch Complex 576 (VAFB LC-576)
2009.03.06 Kepler Delta II 7925-10L Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17) 1 of 19 for $1200[15]
2009.05.05 Space Tracking and Surveillance System Advanced Technology Risk Reduction (STSS-ATRR) Delta II 7920-10C Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W) 1 of 19 for $1200[15]
2009.06.18 Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)/Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) Atlas V 401 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41) $136.2[19]
2009.09.25 Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS)-Demonstrators Program Delta II 7920-10C Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC 17) 1 of 19 for $1200[15]
2009.12.14 Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) Delta II 7320-10C Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W) 1 of 19 for $1200[15]

2010s

Scheduled Launch Date Mission Vehicle Launch Site Total Launch Cost* (million)
2010[20]
2010.02.11 Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Atlas V 401 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41)
2011[21]
2011.03.04 Glory [launch failure] Taurus XL Vandenberg AFB Launch Complex 576 (VAFB LC-576)
2011.06.09 Aquarius (SAC-D) Delta II 7320 Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W) 1 of 19 for $1200[15]
2011.08.05 Juno Atlas V 551 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41) $190[22]
2011.09.10 Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) Delta II 7920-H Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17 (CCAFS SLC-17) 1 of 19 for $1200[15]
2011.10.28 NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) Delta II 7920-10 Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W) 1 of 19 for $1200[15]
2011.11.26 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Atlas V 541 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41) $194.7[23]
2012[24]
2012.06.13 Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) Pegasus XL Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Atoll $36[25]
2012.08.30 Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) Atlas V-401 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41) 1 of 4 for $600[26]
2012.10.07 SpaceX-1 Commercial Resupply Services flight (SpX-1) + Falcon 9 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 (CCAFS SLC-40) 1 of 12 for $1600[27]
2013[28]
2013.01.30 Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-K (TDRS-K) Atlas V-401 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41) 1 of 4 for $600[26]
2013.02.11 Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) Atlas V-401 Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 3 East (VAFB SLC-3E) $124[29]
2013.03.01 SpaceX-2 Commercial Resupply Services flight (SpX-2/CRS-2) + Falcon 9 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 (CCAFS SLC-40) 1 of 12 for $1600[27]
2013.04.21 Orbital Sciences Corporation Demo C-1 + Antares Wallops Flight Facility (WFF)
2013.06.27 Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) Pegasus XL Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) $40 [30]
2013.09.06, 11:27 p.m. EDT Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) + Minotaur V Wallops Flight Facility (WFF)
2013.09.18 Orbital Sciences Corporation Demo C-1 [NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services: Info only (Managed by Johnson Space Center)] Antares Wallops Flight Facility (WFF)
2013.11.18 Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) Atlas V-401 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41) $187[31]
2014
2014.01.09 Orbital-1 Commercial Resupply Services (Orb-1) +
Includes LSP's SPHERES-Slosh Experiment
Antares/Cygnus Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) 1 of 8 for $1900[27]
2014.01.23 Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-L (TDRS-L) Atlas V-401 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41) 1 of 4 for $600[26]
2014.02.27 Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core+ H-IIA Tanegashima Space Center
2014.04.18 SpaceX-3 Commercial Resupply Services flight (SpX-3/CRS-3) + Falcon 9 / Dragon Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 (CCAFS SLC-40) 1 of 12 for $1600[27]
2014.07.02 Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) Delta II 7320 Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W) $70[32]
2014.07.13 Orbital-2 Commercial Resupply Services (Orb-2) + Antares/Cygnus Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) 1 of 8 for $1900[27]
2014.09.21 SpaceX-4 Commercial Resupply Services flight (SpX-4/CRS-4) + Falcon 9 / Dragon Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 (CCAFS SLC-40) 1 of 12 for $1600[27]
2014.10.28 Orbital-3 Commercial Resupply Services (Orb-3) + [launch failure] Antares/Cygnus Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) 1 of 8 for $1900[27]
2015
2015.01.10 SpaceX-5 Commercial Resupply Services flight (SpX-5/CRS-5) + Falcon 9 / Dragon Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 (CCAFS SLC-40) 1 of 12 for $1600[27]
2015.01.31 Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Delta II 7320 Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W) 1 of 3 for $412[33]
2015.03.12 Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) Atlas V-421 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41) 1 of 4 for $600[26]
2015.04.14 SpaceX-6 Commercial Resupply Services flight (SpX-6/CRS-6) + Falcon 9 / Dragon Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 (CCAFS SLC-40) 1 of 12 for $1600[27]
2015.06.28 SpaceX-7 Commercial Resupply Services flight (SpX-7/CRS-7) + [launch failure] Falcon 9 / Dragon Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 (CCAFS SLC-40) 1 of 12 for $1600[27]
2015.12.06 Orbital-4 Commercial Resupply Services (Orb-4) + Atlas V-401/Cygnus Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41) 1 of 8 for $1900[27]
2016
2016.01.17 Jason-3 (NOAA mission) Falcon 9 v1.1 Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 4 East (VAFB SLC-4E) $82[34]
2016.03.23 Orbital ATK-6 Commercial Resupply Services (OA-6) + Atlas V-401/Cygnus Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41) 1 of 8 for $1900[27]
2016.04.08 SpaceX-8 Commercial Resupply Services flight (SpX-8/CRS-8) + Falcon 9 / Dragon Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 (CCAFS SLC-40) 1 of 12 for $1600[27]
2016.09.08 Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) Atlas V-411 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41) $183.5[35]
2016.10.17 Orbital ATK-5 Commercial Resupply Services (OA-5) + Antares/Cygnus Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) 1 of 8 for $1900[27]
2016.11.19 Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) Atlas V-541 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41) 1 of 2 for $446[36]
2016.12.15 Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) Pegasus XL Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) $55[37]
2017
2017.02.19 SpaceX-10 Commercial Resupply Services flight (SpX-10/CRS-10) + Falcon 9 Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A (CCAFS SLC-39A) 1 of 12 for $1600[27]
2017.04.18 Orbital ATK-7 Commercial Resupply Services (OA-7) + Atlas V-401/Cygnus Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41) 1 of 8 for $1900[27]
2017.06.03 SpaceX-11 Commercial Resupply Services flight (SpX-11/CRS-11) + Falcon 9 Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A (CCAFS SLC-39A) 1 of 12 for $1600[27]
2017.08.14 SpaceX-12 Commercial Resupply Services flight (SpX-12/CRS-12) + Falcon 9 Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A (CCAFS SLC-39A) 1 of 12 for $1600[27]
2017.08.18 Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M (TDRS-M) Atlas V-401 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41) $132.4[38]
2017.11.12 Orbital ATK-8 Commercial Resupply Services (OA-8/CRS-8) + Antares/Cygnus Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) 1 of 8 for $1900[27]
2017.12.15 SpaceX-13 Commercial Resupply Services flight (SpX-13/CRS-13) + Falcon 9 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 (CCAFS SLC-40)
2018
2018.03.01 Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) Atlas V-541 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 (CCAFS SLC-41) 1 of 2 for $446[36]
2018.04.02 SpaceX-14 Commercial Resupply Services flight (SpX-14/CRS-14) + Falcon 9 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 (CCAFS SLC-40)
2018.04.18 Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Falcon 9 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 (CCAFS SLC-40) $87[39]
2018.05.05 Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) [Mars Lander] Atlas V-401 Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 3 East (VAFB SLC-3E) $160[40]
2018.05.22 Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow On (GRACE-FO) + Falcon 9 Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 4 East (VAFB SLC-4E)
2018.08.12 Parker Solar Probe (PSP) Delta IV Heavy Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 37 (CCAFS SLC-37) $389.1[41]
2018.09.15 Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite 2 (ICESat-2) Delta II 7420 Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 2 West (VAFB SLC-2W) $96.6[42]
2018.12.16 ELaNa XIX & Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) Electron Rocket Lab LC-1 $6.9[43]

Historic missions

Below are descriptions of historic NASA missions launched by the Launch Services Program.[1][2]

Mars Exploration Rovers (MER-A & B) (Delta II)

NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers launched aboard Delta II vehicles from CCAFS. MER-A "Spirit" launched June 2003, and MER-B "Opportunity" launched July 7 that same year. Both rovers reached Mars in January 2004. Information sent back to Earth from the rovers revealed the existence of water in the Red Planet's past (now ice). Previous missions to Mars include the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft that launched in 2001.

The Mars Pathfinder began its journey as NASA's first return to Mars after the Viking mission began with the launch of the Mars Global Surveyor in 1996, scheduled to last two years. The Surveyor traveled to the Red Planet and spent about two years mapping the Martian surface to achieve a global portrait then continued to work, so NASA extended its mission and used it as a communications satellite to relay data from the Mars Odyssey as well as the Spirit and Opportunity twins back to Earth.

Kepler, Deep Impact, MESSENGER (Delta II)

The Kepler mission, the 10th in NASA's Discovery missions, launched on a Delta II rocket, in 2009. The Kepler telescope was specifically designed to survey a portion of the region of the Milky Way galaxy for about three and a half years to discover dozens of Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone and determine how many of the billions of stars in the galaxy have such planets. The mission could be extended to six years.

The Deep Impact mission launched in 2005 and reached Comet Tempel 1 in July 2005. The "fly-by" spacecraft collected images of the comet before its "impactor" spacecraft reached the comet, and after the impact to study the pristine interior of one of its craters.

NASA's Mercury Surface, Space, Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft launched aboard a Delta II rocket in August 2004. The spacecraft made the 4.9-billion-mile trek to Mercury, with 15 trips around the sun and flybys of the Earth and Venus along the way. The spacecraft reached Mercury in 2008, with flybys of that planet in January and October, and again in September 2009. MESSENGER is only the second spacecraft sent to Mercury, but the first one to orbit Mercury.

New Horizons (Atlas V)

In 2006, NASA dispatched an ambassador to the planetary frontier. The New Horizons spacecraft is now halfway between Earth and Pluto, on approach for a dramatic flight past the icy planet and its moons in July 2015. After 10 years and more than 3 billion miles, on a historic voyage that has already taken it over the storms and around the moons of Jupiter, New Horizons will shed light on new kinds of worlds we've only just discovered on the outskirts of the solar system.

Pluto gets closer by the day, and New Horizons continues into rare territory, as just the fifth probe to traverse interplanetary space so far from the Sun. And the first to travel so far, to reach a new planet for exploration.

GOES and TDRS Fleet of Satellites (Atlas II)

NASA used the Atlas II to launch the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) weather satellites, and some of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) communications series of satellites into orbit. GOES-M lifted off in 2001 aboard an Atlas IIA. It was the fifth spacecraft to be launched in the current advanced series of environmental satellites for NOAA and the first to have a solar X-ray imager. The most recent TDRS launch was in January 2013 (TDRS-K) from CCAFS.

Kodiak Star (Athena I) & Lunar Prospector (Athena II)

The Athena I vehicle carried NASA's Kodiak Star mission into orbit Sept. 29, 2001, from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska. NASA's Starshine 3 and three U.S. Department of Defense satellites were launched into different orbits. Starshine 3 provided data on satellite orbit decay.

The first successful launch of an Athena II carried NASA's Lunar Prospector spacecraft on a mission to search for traces of water or ice on the moon.

Terra (Atlas IIAS)

NASA launched the Earth Observing System's flagship satellite "Terra," named for Earth, in 1999. Terra has been collecting data about the changes in Earth's climate brought on by global warming. Terra carries five state-of-the-art sensors that have been studying the interactions among the Earth's atmosphere, lands, oceans, and radiant energy. Each sensor has unique design features that will enable scientists to meet a wide range of science objectives.

Stardust, Genesis (Delta II)

On Feb. 7, 1999, a Delta II launched from Launch Complex 17-A at CCAFS carrying the Stardust spacecraft. Stardust collected comet dust and volatile samples during a planned close encounter with the comet Wild 2 in January 2004. Stardust also collected samples of interstellar dust, including the recently discovered dust streaming into our Solar System. This launch was unusual in that it was the first U.S. mission dedicated solely to the study of a comet.

NASA's Genesis spacecraft launched aboard a Delta II Aug. 8, 2001, from Launch Complex 17-A at CCAFS. Genesis collected samples of solar wind — invisible, charged particles that flow outward from the Sun. The particles will be studied by scientists to search for answers to fundamental questions about the exact composition of our star and the birth of our Solar System.

Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) (Atlas IIAS)

The SOHO spacecraft, a joint venture between NASA and the European Space Agency, was launched aboard an Atlas IIAS Dec. 2, 1995, from Space Launch Complex 36 at CCAFS. The SOHO spacecraft, which was launched Dec. 2, 1995, aboard an Atlas rocket, gathered data to study the internal structure of the Sun, its extensive outer atmosphere and the origin of solar wind, as well as the stream of highly ionized gas that blows continuously through the Solar System. The information SOHO provided helped scientists better understand the interactions between the Sun and the Earth's environment.

References

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  2. 2.0 2.1 "LSP Brochure". NASA's Launch Services Program. 2012. http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/pdf/678112main_LSP%20Brochure.pdf. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 "Chronology of NASA Expendable Vehicle Missions: 1990-2003". NASA. 2003. http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/pdf/67453main_elv2003.pdf. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
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  6. "NASA LSP Launch Vehicle Archives (2000)". NASA. 2013. http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets/archives/2000.html. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 "NASA AWARDS LAUNCH SERVICES CONTRACTS FOR SMALL PAYLOADS". NASA. October 28, 1998. http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/pdf/744611main_1998.pdf. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  8. "NASA LSP Launch Vehicle Archives (2001)". NASA. 2013. http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets/archives/2001.html. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  9. "NASA LSP Launch Vehicle Archives (2002)". NASA. 2013. http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets/archives/2002.html. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  10. "HESSI SPACECRAFT TO BE LAUNCHED ABOARD PEGASUS XL". NASA. December 10, 1998. http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/pdf/744611main_1998.pdf. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  11. "NASA LSP Launch Vehicle Archives (2003)". NASA. 2013. http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets/archives/2003.html. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
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