PHOTO OF THE DAY: ULA Atlas V Rocket Sends MAVEN To Mars

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--United Launch Alliance (ULA) CEO Michael Gass and Siemens USA CEO Eric Spiegel attended the successful launch of MAVEN, the first NASA mission devoted to understanding Mars’ upper atmosphere. A ULA Atlas V rocket, enabled by design analysis software from Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software business unit, carried the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) satellite into space to begin its 10-month journey to Mars to gather information about the climate of the red planet. MAVEN is part of NASA's Mars Scout program, funded by NASA Headquarters.

ULA is the space industry’s most experienced launch services company, providing reliable, cost-efficient access to space for the Department of Defense, National Reconnaissance Office, NASA and other commercial customers. ULA has completed its first steps in a long-range plan to incorporate Siemens Teamcenter® software into its operation to manage the entire lifecycle development process of its Atlas V rocket, which has now completed 41 successful launches. The MAVEN launch is ULA’s 76th consecutive, successful launch since the company began operations in December 2006.

“I had the privilege of witnessing an important step forward in the next era of space discovery,” said Eric A. Spiegel, CEO of Siemens USA. “We are extremely proud to serve as a technology partner for ULA as their incredibly talented team of engineers and rocket scientists help create the next frontier of space exploration. In an environment where you only have one chance to get it right, the ability to merge virtual and real worlds through PLM software technology is invaluable.”

“ULA is very proud of its 100 percent success rate with launches, and our partnership with Siemens is an important part of that success,” said Michael Gass ULA’s president and CEO. “We utilize Siemens PLM software to help deliver mission success for the Atlas V rocket more effectively and efficiently from design to manufacture.”

The same Atlas V family used today also launched the Mars Rover Curiosity into space for its long journey to Mars and its historic landing on the red planet last year. Siemens PLM software also was used on the Mars Rover program to help in the design, production and testing of the Curiosity.

Siemens’ software technology is used throughout the global space industry to help increase efficiency, reduce costs and help ensure mission success. Siemens PLM software plays an essential role in enabling deep-space exploration for international space programs.