NASA Administrator Tours Company Assisting With Mars Rover Launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA Administrator Charles Bolden toured
Kegman Inc. of Melbourne, Fla., one company that supplied technology
and engineering support to the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
Curiosity rover.

Bolden's tour of Kegman coincided with the Second Annual Small
Business Saturday, a day to support the local small businesses that
create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.

"On Saturday, NASA will be launching our most sophisticated science
laboratory to date, the Mars Science Laboratory, and the work of
dozens of small businesses helped make this happen," Bolden said.
"Even in a project as expansive and with dramatic long-range impact,
small businesses like Kegman and nearly two dozen other small
businesses around the nation are playing a large role."

Kegman Inc. is an economically disadvantaged, woman-owned,
veteran-owned small business. It monitors and analyzes the wind
impact during launch preparations.

The data is used by the mission's weather officer to determine whether
conditions are right to launch the Curiosity rover. The $2.5 billion
laboratory will study past and present potentially habitable
environments on Mars after it lands on the planet in August 2012.

NASA officials estimate more than 40 American companies, universities
and organizations with over 5,000 workers in 31 states and nine
countries contributed to the development and construction of
Curiosity. Of those companies, at least two dozen are small businesses.

"Curiosity's mission is to get Mars to give up its secrets," Bolden
said. "But we can't get Mars to talk without the contributions of
companies like Kegman who contribute technology, innovation,
component parts and know-how to the project."

For more information about the Mars Science Laboratory launch and
mission, visit:


For more information about Small Business Saturday, visit:



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