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Archive for June, 2000

29-Jun-00 | Radarsat-2 reprieve

Radarsat-2 will fly on a Delta II after all. The spacecraft had disappeared from the schedule for quite a while after the U.S. Government balked at the 3-metre ground resolution of the advanced synthetic aperture radar. Apparently those issues have been resolved because no mention is made in either Boeing’s press release or that of Radarsat’s owner and prime contractor, MacDonald Dettwiler.

29-Jun-00 | Delta production to consolidate

Bad news for Huntington Beach as Boeing has announced plans to consolidate Delta production by moving several processes to Pueblo and Decatur. This has likely been in the works for some time considering the size of the new facility in Alabama. The shift will reduce the Delta workforce by over 300 people in production and support.

16-Jun-00 | Next launch

The next Delta II will carry NAVSTAR 2R-5, a Global Positioning System replenishment satellite. The launch has returned to the schedule, meaning that the stacking issue has been resolved. During initial stacking around the 1st of June, engineers were unable to make the interstage and the second stage thrust skirt mate properly. (The interstage is a hollow cylindrical section atop the first stage that conceals the second stage engine and joins the two stages.) The interstage was suspected of being out of round and was replaced, but a second attempt also failed. Boeing engineers proceeded to take precise measurements of all parts involved to determine what needed modification or replacement. In the meantime, the Air Force chose not to reserve a range slot until the stacking resumed. This flight is slated to carry a “twin videoroc,” a pair of aft-facing cameras mounted 180 degrees apart on the second stage, for an unprecedented view of launch and staging. Unfortunately, the new launch date slipped far enough into the future that the launch window is now over an hour before dawn, and the electrical crew may have to pull the hardware for use on a later flight.

16-Jun-00 | Delta III to launch first dummy payload in Delta history

On Wednesday, Boeing officially announced the next mission for Delta III. Designated DM-F3 (Delta Mission – Flight 3), it will carry a dummy payload to geostationary transfer orbit and will fly some time in mid-August. The payload simulates “the mass and frequency characteristics of common commercial communication payloads sized for Delta III,” specifically a Hughes HS-601HP, and will travel a nearly identical flight profile to that of Delta 269, which left Orion 3 stranded in an incorrect orbit. (Boeing press release)



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