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03-Oct-11 | Delta II reaches the on-ramp

NASA has announced the modification of its NASA Launch Services (NLS) II contract with United Launch Services, putting Delta II back on the menu. Parts for five Delta II vehicles have already been manufactured, and are now in storage; this contract modification will enable ULS to offer them to NASA for launch services between now and June 2020. [NASA Contract Release C11-044, 30-Sep-11]

The announcement means that the Delta II era might last beyond the launch of NPP, currently slated for 27 October. Of course, since the production line is out of commission, these five vehicles will be the last—but at least they have a chance to serve their purpose, rather than gather dust. Any remaining Delta II launches are expected to take place at Vandenberg’s SLC-2W.

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