GILBERT, Ariz. , June 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) observatory, designed and built by General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, was successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. GLAST is a next-generation high-energy gamma-ray satellite designed to make observations of celestial gamma-ray sources. The mission is an astrophysics and particle physics partnership, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, along with important contributions from academic institutions and partners in France , Germany , Italy , Japan and Sweden .
As system integrator for the GLAST observatory, General Dynamics has been responsible for the design and manufacture of the spacecraft bus, integration of the government furnished instruments, full system testing and will conduct on-orbit checkout. Assembly of the spacecraft and payload integration took place at the General Dynamics space systems factory in Gilbert, Ariz. GLAST was launched onboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II 7920-H rocket. The NASA Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center was responsible for the countdown and launch management of the Delta II GLAST mission.
"GLAST represents another close collaboration between NASA and General Dynamics and continues our contribution to ground-breaking astrophysics," said Dave Shingledecker , vice president and general manager of integrated space systems, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems. "We are very excited for NASA and its partners about the science that will be learned from GLAST and look forward to working with them on future missions."
GLAST will explore the most extreme environments in the universe, where nature harnesses energies far beyond anything possible on Earth. It will search for signs of new laws of physics, explain how black holes accelerate immense jets of material to nearly light speed and help scientists identify the origins of the powerful deep-space explosions known as gamma-ray bursts.
General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), designs, develops, manufactures, integrates, operates and maintains mission systems for defense, space, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, homeland security and homeland defense customers. Headquartered in Fairfax, Va. , the company specializes in ground systems; imagery processing; mission payloads; space vehicles; maritime subsurface, surface and airborne mission systems; and tasking, collection, processing, exploitation and dissemination programs for national intelligence. More information is available on the Internet at http://www.gd-ais.com.
General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va. , employs
approximately 84,000 people worldwide and reported 2007 revenues of
SOURCE General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems