A Boeing Delta II rocket successfully launched NASA’s
Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) into space today on a quest for the
origins of the universe.

Liftoff occurred at 3:46 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 17B.
Approximately one hour and 26 minutes later, the Boeing Delta II
deployed the MAP spacecraft.

“Our job is to give MAP a safe ride into space,” said Joy Bryant,
director of NASA Expendable Launch Programs for Boeing. “The launch is
a highly crucial part of the mission and we have put enormous time and
effort into ensuring its success. Today all of that hard work paid

The MAP mission is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
in Greenbelt, Md. and was built in partnership with Princeton
University in Princeton, N.J. The mission’s goal is to determine the
history, content, shape and fate of the universe. Since light from
distant stars can take millions of years to reach earth, the pictures
that MAP takes will represent the universe from just after the time of
the Big Bang.

To date, Boeing Delta rockets have successfully launched more than
190 NASA missions dating back to 1960. Since 1997, the Boeing Delta II
has performed flawlessly.

The Boeing Company is the largest aerospace company in the world
and the United States’ leading exporter. It is the world’s largest
NASA contractor and manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military
aircraft. The company’s capabilities in aerospace also include
rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, rocket engines,
launch vehicles, and advanced information and communication systems.

The company has an extensive global reach with customers in 145
countries and manufacturing operations throughout the United States,
Canada and Australia.