History of the Delta Launch Vehicle

Delta launch

In 1960, a young NASA launched the first of twelve spacecraft on a small, general-purpose rocket called Delta. Cobbled together from the tested pieces of other, less dependable rockets, Delta was intended as a stopgap until more powerful vehicles could be developed.

Over fifty years, dozens of upgrades, and more than 300 successes later, the Delta expendable launch vehicle remains the “magnificent little workhorse” of space. The satellites and space probes it has launched have revolutionized several industries and expanded the boundaries of science, and Delta II has set a high standard for launch vehicle reliability — its record currently stands at 99 consecutive successes.

This site, the basis for a chapter in the NASA History Office book To Reach the High Frontier, provides:

The latest Delta-related news:

JPSS-1 success!
Saturday, 18 November 2017, 10:35 CST

NOAA’s JPSS-1 Earth environmental observer was launched in the early morning hours of Saturday, 18 November. The two-stage Delta II vehicle, marking its 99th consecutive success,¬† also delivered¬†five secondary CubeSat payloads into orbit for investigations by various universities.

JPSS-1 is the first of a new generation of polar-orbiting satellites to monitor Earth’s atmosphere, ozone layer, and radiation reflectance. It is a follow-on to the Suomi NPP satellite (Delta 357) which itself was a bridge from previous EOS missions including Aqua (Delta 291) and Aura (Delta 306).

Two launch attempts were scrubbed earlier in the week for various reasons, and ULA postponed a third attempt until upper level winds could come within acceptable limits.

The launch manifest contains one more Delta II, which is expected to launch ICESAT-2 some time in 2018. After that one complete vehicle will remain, which is rumored to be destined for a museum somewhere.

Google Maps Hacks

Car 55
It's a hundred and six miles to...
Chicago Filming Locations of The Blues Brothers
The Buildings of Louis H. Sullivan – a complete listing, or as complete as possible given the data (and buildings) lost to destruction.
Chicago's Tied Houses – saloons built before Prohibition and owned by breweries as marketing tools, back when such things were allowed.
Historic sites of East Lansing and MSU – structures on the National and State Registers, and others of local significance.
No. 7

A Brief History of East Lansing, Michigan

City Neighborhoods and the Campus Park, 1850–1925

When Michigan governor Kinsley S. Bingham signed Act 130 into law in 1855, establishing the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, he helped to ignite a spark that continues today as a bright torch of higher education.

The location chosen “for the teaching of scientific agriculture” was an undeveloped area of oak groves and tamarack swamps a few miles east of the state capitol in Lansing. Years of hard work — in both student labor and the political struggles of keeping the school intact — transformed the land into a splendid college campus. Soon, an adjacent college town arose and was chartered as the City of East Lansing.

Today, Michigan State University is the eighth-largest university in the United States by enrollment. East Lansing’s population numbers over 45,000, and it has expanded its role from mere faculty and student housing to become a cultural nexus for the mid-Michigan area.

This site comprises two separate but interconnected histories: a chronology of MSU’s early years, and a compendium of East Lansing’s significant structures, as determined by the city Historical Commission some thirty years ago.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

Quite possibly my all-time favourite book, I re-read it every few years and each time I get something more out of it. An investigation into the concepts of truth and quality, sprinkled with commentary on Western academia, it uses the metaphor of a motorcycle to explain logic and rational thought. Though the book uses the narrative framework of a cross-country trip, the motorcycle one is taught to maintain is not the piece of hardware on which the author rides: it is one’s own self. Here’s an odd book report.

More book reviews to come from the armchair.

Recent updates to kevinforsyth.net:

11-Nov-17 A new article on the Reorganization of 1861 that saved the Michigan Agricultural College from an early demise.

30-May-17 Expansions and corrections to the James G. Hays House including biographical information and an oblique connection to M.A.C.’s most famous cow.

16-Feb-17 Updates to Oakwood regarding a major redevelopment project. Among the buildings facing the wrecking ball is the Justice Potter house, a “significant structure.”

“A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

Hark! A Vagrant
Comics by K. Beaton. Because history is very serious.