Photo Credit & Copyright: ULA of AFSPC-4 Delta IV+Medium 4,2 Launch Vehicle.
LAUNCH ALERT!!! Wednesday, March 25th at 14:36 EDT (18:36 UTC) from Space Launch Complex-37B (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 the 9th Block II GPS payload. This will be ULA’s 93rd launch overall, the Delta IV’s 29th launch.
GPS IIF-9: GPS satellites serve and protect our warfighters by providing navigational assistance for U.S. military operations on land, at sea, and in the air. Civilian users around the world also use and depend on GPS for highly accurate time, location, and velocity information. GPS IIF-9 is one of the next-generation GPS satellites, incorporating various improvements to provide greater accuracy, increased signals, and enhanced performance for users.
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.
Watch LIVE: (Webcast begins at 04:00 PST or 07:00 EST or 12:00 UTC).
ULA Webcast: http://www.ulalaunch.com/webcast.aspx
GPS IIF-9 Mission:
UNITED LAUNCH ALLIANCE (ULA):
ULA homepage: http://www.ulalaunch.com/
Twitter for ULA CEO Tory Bruno: https://twitter.com/torybruno
DELTA IV ROCKET:
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
MAJOR MILITARY/GOVERNMENT SPACE RESOURCES:
National Reconnaissance Office (NRO): http://www.nro.gov/
Patrick AFB (45th Space Wing) (Cape Canaveral): http://www.patrick.af.mil/
5th Space Launch Squadron (5th SLS):
Vandenberg AFB (30th Space Wing): http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/
4th Space Launch Squadron (4th SLS):
Air Force Space Command: http://www.afspc.af.mil/
Peterson AFB (21st Space Wing): http://www.peterson.af.mil/
Aerojet-Rocketdyne Homepage: http://www.rocket.com/