Photo Credit & Copyright: ULA/Pat Corkery of the GPS IIF-3 launch: CLICK for larger view and see below for information and links.
LAUNCH ALERT!!! (WEATHER & EQUIPMENT PERMITTING) Monday, July 28th at 1843 EDT (2243 UTC) from Space Launch Complex-37 (SLC-37 or Slick-37) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) a United Launch Alliance (ULA), Boeing Delta IV rocket flying in its Medium+4,2 configuration will accelerate out of Earth’s atmosphere carrying U.S. Military’s payloads. This will be ULA’s 85th launch overall and 33 for the USAF.
The AFSPC-4 mission will deliver two Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) satellites to near-geosyn¬chronous orbit and will also carry an Automated Navigation and Guidance Experiment for Local Space (ANGELS) satellite. The twin GSSAP spacecraft will support U.S. Strategic Command space surveillance operations as a dedicated Space Surveillance Network (SSN) sensor. The GSSAP will also support Joint Functional Component Command for Space (JFCC SPACE) tasking to collect space situational awareness data, allowing for more accurate tracking and characterization of man-made orbiting objects. The ANGELS satellite is managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate. As part of AFRL’s research in advanced Space Situational Awareness (SSA), ANGELS examines techniques for providing a clearer picture of the environment surrounding our nation’s vital space assets.
The Boeing Delta IV rocket is an expendable 2 stage rocket that is available in a few different configurations; the Heavy, Medium, Medium+4,2 the Medium+5,2 or Medium+5,4. This mission will be flying in the MEDIUM + (4,2) configuration. The entire vehicle stands 207 ft. (63 m) tall and is capable of being launched from two locations; SLC-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), FL and SLC-6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), CA.
DELTA IV MEDIUM+4,2 CONFIGURATION SUMMARY: Medium = Medium lift capabilities in the Delta IV family. 4 = Payload fairing (PLF) is 2 shell, 4.1 meters (13.4 ft.) in diameter. 2 = 2 Strap-on solid rocket motors (SRM) attached to the 1st stage produced by Alliant Techsystems.
MAIN PAYLOAD FAIRING (PLF): The spacecraft is protected inside the two-shell 13.4 ft (4.1 m) payload fairing until the rocket reaches an altitude high enough where the spacecraft won’t be damaged by air resistance and heating created by the speed of the rocket from that air resistance.
DELTA CRYOGENIC SECOND STAGE (DCSS) (2nd Stage) = 39.5 ft. (12m) long and 13.1 ft. (4.0m) in diameter and is powered by a single Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10B-2 (RL-10) engine that burns cryogenic liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen that produces 24,750 lb. of thrust.
STRAP-ON SOLID ROCKET MOTORS (SRM’s): The solid rocket motors are 53 ft (16.2 m) in length and 60” inches (152 centimeters) in diameter. These engines help with the initial boost phase of the launch by burning for roughly 90 seconds and are jettisoned 100 seconds into flight.
COMMON BOOSTER CORE (CBC) (1st Stage) = 133.9 ft. (40.8m) long and 16.7 ft. (5.1m) in diameter and is powered by the Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A engine system. The engine burns cryogenic liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen and produces 663,000 lb. of thrust at sea level.
GO DELTA!!! AFSPC-4!!!
Watch Live Streaming (Coverage begins at 1823 EDT): http://www.ulalaunch.com
United Launch Alliance (ULA) Twitter: https://twitter.com/ulalaunch
United Launch Alliance (ULA) Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ulalaunch
AFSPC-4 mission page: http://www.ulalaunch.com/delta-iv-to-launch-afspc4.aspx
Excellent AFSPC-4 mission booklet that includes all mission details (PDF): http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Mission_Booklets/DIV/div_afspc-4_mob.pdf?bcsi_scan_df193da5ba4c5bc6=VCkWotRZuvvkkSc1sh0nIlMbY/kSAAAAutR22w==&bcsi_scan_filename=div_afspc-4_mob.pdf
Delta IV Family Page: http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Products_DeltaIV.shtml
Delta IV – 4 Meter Configuration Cutaway & Vehicle Details: http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/docs/products/Cutaways/DeltaIVM4Meter_Cutaway.pdf
Patrick AFB (45th Space Wing): http://www.patrick.af.mil/
45th Space Wing Twitter: https://twitter.com/45thSpaceWing