SPARKS, Nev. (July 14, 2015) – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems congratulates NASA, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Southwest Research Institute and the entire New Horizons team on the spacecraft becoming the first to achieve a reconnaissance flyby study of the dwarf planet Pluto. SNC is proud to have participated in today’s historic achievement by supplying key components of the spacecraft’s thermal control system, which enables it to regulate its temperature in the harsh space environment.
“SNC and I would like to congratulate NASA, Alan Stern and the entire New Horizons team on over nine years of this historic mission culminating in today’s epic flyby of Pluto,” said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space Systems. “The New Horizons flyby of the Pluto System is an amazing accomplishment for the United States and NASA and we are thrilled to be a part of the team that made it happen. SNC has a history of supporting NASA missions, more than 70 in our 25-plus-year history. We are also proud to be part of the Colorado aerospace industry, which has always played a vital role in space exploration, as exemplified in the strong number of Colorado companies participating in the New Horizons mission.”
Launched in January 2006, the New Horizons mission is part of NASA’s New Frontiers program, designed to expand our knowledge of the solar system through increased exploration. New Horizons, the closest manmade object to this distant part of the solar system since Voyager 1, traversed nearly 3 billion miles over nine years to reach the Pluto System and the Kuiper Belt.
“As a world-class designer and manufacturer of space technologies, subsystems and components, SNC has supported many planetary missions,” said Bryan Helgesen, director of business development for SNC’s Space Systems. “We have a strong history of delivering space products - which includes flagship programs and nearly every journey to Mars - and we are proud to support yet another NASA mission, and look forward to future accomplishments.”
The fastest spacecraft ever launched - at a blazing speed of more than 30,000 mph - New Horizons has already encountered an asteroid, performed a flyby of Jupiter and returned the first color movies of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon. The probe’s observations of Pluto will last for several weeks, at which time it will make its way into the outer solar system. With this historic achievement, the U.S. has successfully surveyed the entire solar system.
About Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems
About Sierra Nevada Corporation
SNC has six unique business areas that are dedicated to providing leading-edge solutions to its dynamic customer base. SNC has a proven track record of success spanning more than five decades. It is focused on providing its customers with the very best in diversified technologies and continues to focus its growth on the commercial sector through internal advancements in dual-use applications and outside acquisitions including the emerging markets of telemedicine, Cyber and net-centric operations.
For more information on SNC visit www.sncorp.com and follow us at Facebook/Sierra Nevada Corporation. Sierra Nevada Corporation and SNC are trademarks of Sierra Nevada Corporation.
Media Contact: CommunicationsFromSNC@sncorp.com or Betsy McDonald at 775-849-6435.
Image of Pluto taken July 13, 2015 by LORRI on New Horizons.