Boeing Delta IV Heavy Launch Successful

Dec 22, 2004

The Boeing Delta IV Heavy made its first flight today achieving the major test objectives despite placing its demonstration satellite in a lower than expected orbit.
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 demonstration satellite was deployed following a 5-hour and 50-minute flight.

The first planned launch attempt on Friday December 14 was pushed back due to poor weather conditions. The launch team is now awaiting the first available date on the range to reschedule the launch.

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.
Boeing spokesman Dan Beck said the Delta IV launch would still be the "first and only" demonstration of heavy-lift capability that was currently scheduled.

"The EELV program and Boeing invested in today's demonstration launch to ensure that the Delta IV Heavy, the only EELV Heavy variant available, is ready to launch our nation's most important national security payloads into space," said Dan Collins, vice president of Boeing Expendable Launch Systems. "While the demonstration satellite did not reach its intended orbit, we now have enough information and confidence in the Delta IV Heavy to move forward with preparations for the upcoming Defense Support Program launch in 2005."

A preliminary review of the data indicates that a shorter than expected first-stage burn led to the low orbit. However, according to the Air Force EELV program office, the primary flight objectives were accomplished in today's all-up test of the new launch vehicle. The heavy boost phase, the new five-meter upper stage and five-meter payload fairing, extended coast, upper stage third burn and payload separation, and activation and usage of Space Launch Complex 37B for a Heavy launch were all successfully demonstrated.

"I want to thank our entire Delta team, including our government and industry partners," Collins said. "Their efforts, hard work and focus have once again moved our industry forward. We have a very happy and confident customer, thanks to all the hard work put in by this team."

Explore further: Researchers discover low-grade nonwoven cotton picks up 50 times own weight of oil

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physicists discuss quantum pigeonhole principle

11 hours ago

The pigeonhole principle: "If you put three pigeons in two pigeonholes at least two of the pigeons end up in the same hole." So where's the argument? Physicists say there is an important argument. While the ...

Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery

13 hours ago

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby

14 hours ago

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

Recommended for you

Rosetta measures comet's temperature

11 hours ago

(Phys.org) —ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has made its first temperature measurements of its target comet, finding that it is too hot to be covered in ice and must instead have a dark, dusty crust.

How Rosetta arrives at a comet

13 hours ago

After travelling nearly 6.4 billion kilometres through the Solar System, ESA's Rosetta is closing in on its target. But how does a spacecraft actually arrive at a comet?

Lunar occultation of Saturn

14 hours ago

On the night of Monday August 4, mainland Australia will see Saturn disappear behind the moon. It's the third time this year that the moon and Saturn will perfectly line up, as viewed from our part of the ...

User comments : 0