Scientists believe comets
may have brought the building blocks of life to Earth 3.8 billion
years ago. To further study the comets’ behavior and evolution,
Boeing [NYSE:BA] will launch NASA’s Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR)
spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on July 1.

At approximately 2:56 a.m. EDT, a Boeing Delta II rocket will blast
off from Launch Pad A of Space Launch Complex 17 to send CONTOUR
safely on its scientific pursuit of at least two comets.

“To expertly launch the Delta II and deploy the multi-million
dollar CONTOUR probe on a precise trajectory in space requires
tremendous know-how and a commitment to success,” said Kris
Walsh, Boeing Director of NASA Expendable Launch programs. “This
is the driving force behind more than 190 successful Delta missions
for NASA, and the driving force behind the CONTOUR launch.”

For this mission, Boeing will use the 7425 configuration of the Delta
II, which features four strap-on solid rocket motors and a third stage
to boost CONTOUR into its proper trajectory. After the rocket deploys
CONTOUR, the NASA spacecraft will embark on its mission, ultimately
flying within 100 kilometers of the Enocke and Schwassman-Wachmann 3
comets to study the nucleus of each celestial body.

“A great teaming effort between NASA, the Johns Hopkins
University Applied Physics Laboratory, who designed and managed the
mission, and Boeing has made the integration and processing of the
CONTOUR spacecraft exceptional,” said Cheryl Malloy,
NASA’s mission integration manager for CONTOUR.
“We’re ready for a first-class launch so the exploration
and learning can begin.”

The Boeing Delta II holds a 98 percent success rate and is dubbed the
“workhorse of the industry.”

Boeing Space and Communications (S&C), headquartered in Seal Beach,
Calif., is the world’s largest space and communications company.
A unit of The Boeing Company, S&C provides integrated solutions in
launch services, human space flight and exploration, missile defense,
and information and communications. It is NASA’s largest
contractor; a leading provider of space-based communications; the
primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; and a leading
provider of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. The global
enterprise has customers worldwide and manufacturing operations
throughout the United States and Australia.