ASU Satellite Missing

December 23, 2004

Boeing Co. Delta IV heavy-lift rocket failed to put a communications satellite, that was developed by Arizona State University, in the orbit it was supposed to. Boeing said the failure was apparently caused by a shorter-than-planned firing of the Delta 4 Heavy rocket's three main engines

The Delta IV Heavy lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., at 4:50 p.m. EST, on a demonstration launch for the Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.

The Delta IV family blends new and mature technology to launch virtually any size medium or heavy payload into space, with the largest success being the now flight proven RS-68 engine. The vehicle is capable of pushing 13 tonnes of payload towards a geostationary orbit.

A preliminary review of the data indicates that a shorter than expected first-stage burn led to the low orbit.

The Three Corner Sat (3CS) satellite project, initiated in 1999, is a mission being developed jointly by Arizona State University (ASU), The University of Colorado, Boulder (CU), and New Mexico State University (NMSU).

"While the demonstration satellite did not reach its intended orbit, we now have enough information and confidence in the Delta 4 Heavy to move forward with preparations for the upcoming Defense Support Program launch," said Dan Collins, vice president of Boeing Expendable Launch Systems.

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