Kevin Forsyth Home


History of the Delta Launch Vehicle

Current Delta News

(What about Delta IV?)

21-Mar-04 | Delta flight 303 – NAVSTAR IIR-11

Flight number 303, the first Delta launch of 2004, took place yesterday at Cape Canaveral’s SLC-17B. The three-stage Delta II 7925 carried NAVSTAR IIR-11, a replenishment satellite for the USAF‘s Global Positioning System space segment.

A quiet countdown was interrupted with less than a minute remaining by a pressure alarm in the first stage nitrogen system. The launch team had a chance to show off their quick T-minus 4-minute turnaround skills and was able to launch at an official time of 12:53:00.409 EST, a minute ahead of the close of the 15-minute window.

Spacecraft separation came 68 minutes, 14 seconds later, into an 11,000-mile (apogee) transfer orbit. NAVSTAR IIR-11 will replace IIA-19, which has been on orbit for eleven years; a plaque mounted on IIR-11 celebrates the late Dr. Ivan A. Getting, a space pioneer who is “credited as the visionary behind GPS.”

Boeing announced this flight as “the 50th [GPS] satellite launched,” a number which includes the Block I experimental constellation as well as two launch failures (an Atlas E in 1981, and Delta 241 on 17 January 1997). Successful launches into the operational constellation now number 38. (Spaceflight Now, 20-Mar-04; Boeing Press Release, 20-Mar-04)

Your comment:



Back to top

Warning: include() [function.include]: http:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_fopen=0 in /home/kevinfor/public_html/delta/weblog/wp-content/themes/delta/index.php on line 149

Warning: include('AKM|COLA|DIGS|^GEM|hypergol|MECO|PHSF|propellants|RIFCA|SAEF|SECO|SLC|TCM|vernier|video|Discovery|MIDEX|NOAA|USAF|CNES|EUMETSAT') [function.include]: failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /home/kevinfor/public_html/delta/weblog/wp-content/themes/delta/index.php on line 149

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening ''AKM|COLA|DIGS|^GEM|hypergol|MECO|PHSF|propellants|RIFCA|SAEF|SECO|SLC|TCM|vernier|video|Discovery|MIDEX|NOAA|USAF|CNES|EUMETSAT'' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/kevinfor/public_html/delta/weblog/wp-content/themes/delta/index.php on line 149