NASA’s Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) arrived today at the Kennedy Space
Center (KSC) in Florida from the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt,
Md. The spacecraft will undergo final readiness preparations for its
upcoming launch this summer aboard a Boeing Delta II launch vehicle.

Using a scanning method, MAP will make an accurate, precise, full sky
picture of cosmic microwave background radiation, the afterglow of the Big
Bang. MAP seeks to answer fundamental questions about the formation and
fate of the universe. Among the questions MAP will attempt to answer: How
old is the universe? How and when did the first galaxies form? Will the
universe expand forever or will it collapse? How rapidly is the universe

Upon arrival at Kennedy Space Center, MAP was taken to the Spacecraft and
Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), a payload processing facility located in
the KSC Industrial Area. Several milestones must be completed while MAP is
at SAEF-2 including antenna installations, solar array installation, solar
array deployment and illumination testing, a spacecraft comprehensive
performance test, fueling with hydrazine propellant, and a spin balance
test. MAP will then be ready for integration with the solid propellant
Payload Assist Module upper stage booster.

MAP is scheduled to be transported from SAEF-2 to Space Launch Complex 17
on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station June 19 where it will be hoisted atop
the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle at Pad 17-B. The protective fairing will
be installed around the spacecraft on June 26. Launch is currently targeted
to occur on June 30 at 4 p.m. EDT.