Images credit & copyright: United Launch Alliance (ULA).
LAUNCH ALERT: Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 19:44 EDT (23:44 UTC) the United Launch Alliance (ULA), will be launching a Delta IV rocket in its Medium + (5,4) configuration carrying the ninth Wideband Global SATCOM satellite (WGS 9) for the U.S. Air Force from Space Launch Complex-37B (SLC-37B) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Florida.
This will be the ULA’s 118th flight, the 35th flight for the Delta IV and the 7 flight of the Delta IV in the medium + (5,4) configuration.
The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket is an expendable 2 stage rocket that can fly in five different configurations. The entire vehicle stands 217 ft. (66.2 m) tall and is capable of being launched from two locations; Space Launch Complex-37 (SLC-37) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), FL and Space Launch Complex-6 (SLC-6 or Slick 6) at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), CA.
The Delta IV Medium (Delta IV M): can fly in four (4) configurations:
Delta IV M
Delta IV M+ (4,2)
Delta IV M+ (5,2)
Delta IV M+ (5,4).
The Delta IV Heavy (Delta IV H): flies in one (1) configuration:
Delta IV Medium + (5,4) Configuration Summary:
Medium = Medium lift capabilities within the Delta IV family.
5 = 5.1 meter (16.7 ft.) payload fairing.
4 = 4 Strap-on solid rocket motors (SRM’s) attached to the 1st stage.
Main Payload Fairing (PLF): The spacecraft is protected inside the two-shell 16.7 ft. (5.1 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) (Second Stage) = 42.8 ft. (13 m) long and 16.7 ft. (5.1 m) 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 with a burn time of 700 seconds.
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. Two or four SRM’s are flown on the Delta IV M+ configurations.
Common Booster Core (CBC) (First Stage) = 133.9 ft. (40.8m) long and 16.7 ft. (5.1 m) in diameter and is powered by a single Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A engine system. The engine burns cryogenic liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen, produces 663,000 lb. of thrust at sea level and burns for 368 seconds.
ULA Webcast: http://www.ulalaunch.com/webcast.aspx
ULA YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/UnitedLaunchAlliance
WGS 9 Mission Information:
45th Space Wing L-1 Weather Forecast: http://www.patrick.af.mil/About-Us/Weather
United Launch Alliance (ULA):
ULA homepage: http://www.ulalaunch.com/
Twitter for ULA CEO Tory Bruno: https://twitter.com/torybruno
Rocket Builder: https://www.rocketbuilder.com/
Delta IV Rocket Family:
Delta IV Family Page: http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Products_DeltaIV.shtml
Delta IV Users Guide: http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Launch_Vehicles/Delta_IV_Users_Guide_June_2013.pdf?bcsi_scan_fd86d3dd427d821e=zHrt+fUXhAii5e8/xYXWXmUp1fydAAAAg/caDw==&bcsi_scan_filename=Delta_IV_Users_Guide_June_2013.pdf
Delta IV, 4 Meter Cutaway: http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/DeltaIVM4Meter_Cutaway.pdf
Delta IV, 5 Meter Cutaway: http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/DeltaIVM5Meter_Cutaway.pdf
Main Site: http://www.rocket.com/
National Reconnaissance Office (NRO):
Main Site: http://www.nro.gov/
Patrick AFB: 45th Space Wing, Cape Canaveral, FL:
Main Site: http://www.patrick.af.mil/
Vandenberg AFB, 30th Space Wing, CA:
Vandenberg AFB : http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/
Air Force Space Command:
Main Site: http://www.afspc.af.mil/
Los Angeles Air Force Base, Space and Missile Systems Center:
Main Site: http://www.losangeles.af.mil/
Peterson AFB (21st Space Wing):
Main Site: http://www.peterson.af.mil/