THE WORLD’S TALLEST, MOST POWERFUL ROCKET (CURRENTLY) READY TO SERVE THE UNITED STATES AS PART OF NROL-65.
Photo By: ULA/Karl Ronstrom (Links Below).
LAUNCH ALERT!!! A SPECIAL TREAT THIS WEEK AS 2 HEAVY LAUNCH ROCKETS ARE SCHEDULED TO LAUNCH ON 2 CONSECUTIVE DAYS!!!
Wednesday, August 28th at 1352 EDT (1752 UTC) from Space Launch Complex-6 (SLC-6 or Slick6) at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Boeing Delta 4 Heavy rocket (Designated Delta 364) will be thundering into the California sky as part of NROL-65. This will be only the second time that the Delta 4 Heavy has launched from Vandenberg AFB so if you live in or near southern CA make the trip! NROL-65 will be ULA’s eighth launch of 2013 and will be serving the Unites States by delivering a classified payload into orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
The Delta 4 Heavy was developed by the United States Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program to assure access to space for the Department of Defense as well as other government payloads. The EELV program includes the Atlas V(5) and Delta IV(4) families of launch vehicles.
The D4H is an expendable 2 stage rocket that flies in the same base configuration as the Delta 4 MEDIUM rocket but in addition it has two strap on Common Booster Cores (CBCs) and the entire vehicle stands 232 ft. (70.7m) tall. The 2 locations the D4H launches from are Space Launch Complex-37 (SLC-37) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida and Space Launch Complex-6 (SLC-6) at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California.
Delta 4 HEAVY Rocket configuration explained……..
Heavy = it is the heavy lift vehicle in the Delta 4 family.
Main Payload Fairing (PLF) is a 2 shell, 5.1 meters (16.7 ft.) in diameter. An optional 3 piece shell is also available.
2nd Stage (Upper Stage) = The Delta Cryogenic Second Stage (DCSS) is 42.8 ft. (13m) long and 16.7 ft.(5.1m) in diameter, it’s powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RL10B-2 engine. It burns cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen (LH2) that produces 24,750 lb. of thrust.
1st Stage Common Booster Core (CBC) = 133.9 ft. (40.8m) long and 16.7 ft. (5.1m) in diameter. It’s powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68A engine system. Burns cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen (LH2) and produces 663,000 lb. of thrust at sea level and they burn for 328 seconds. At +50 seconds after liftoff, the Core Stage Engine throttles back to 57% to save fuel during strap on CBC separation. After separation the engine is throttled back up to 100% for the remainder of its burn. The boosters cryogenic talks are insulated with a combination spray-on and bond-on insulation as well as helium purged insulation blankets.
2 Strap on Common Booster Cores (CBC’s) = In addition to the main CBC there are two additional CBC’s (Port & Starboard) strapped onto the main one! Each is 133.9 ft. (40.8m) long and 16.7 ft. (5.1m) in diameter. They’re each powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68A engine system. Burns cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen (LH2) and produces 663,000 lb. of thrust at sea level and they burn for 242 seconds. The boosters cryogenic talks are insulated with a combination spray-on and bond-on insulation as well as helium purged insulation blankets.
GO DELTA! GO NROL-65!!!
Watch Live At: http://www.ULAlaunch.com
ULA NROL-65 mission overview: http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Launch.shtml#/42/
Delta 4 vehicle page: http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Products_DeltaIV.shtml
Patrick Air Force Base 45th Space Wing: http://www.patrick.af.mil/
Spaceflight 101 Delta 4 Heavy page: http://www.spaceflight101.com/delta-iv-heavy.html
Spaceflight 101 Live Launch Streaming: http://www.spaceflight101live.com/