Images credit & copyright: United Launch Alliance (ULA).
LAUNCH ALERT: Friday, January 12, 2018 at 13:00 PST (16:00 EST & 21:00 UTC) the United Launch Alliance (ULA), will be launching a Delta IV rocket in its Medium + (5,2) configuration carrying a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) as part of NROL-47 from Space Launch Complex-6 (SLC-6) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.
This will be the ULA’s 122nd flight, the 36th flight for the Delta IV and the final flight of the Delta IV in the medium + (5,2) 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 + (5,2) Configuration Summary:
Medium = Medium lift capabilities within the Delta IV family.
5 = 5.1 meter (16.7 ft.) payload fairing.
2 = 2 Strap-on solid rocket motors (SRM’s) attached to the 1st stage.
Main Payload Fairing (PLF): two-shell 16.7 ft. (5.1 m) fairings used to protect the spacecraft during ascent through atmospheric turbulence and into space. Once the rocket has reached a safe altitude the fairings are jettisoned, exposing the spacecraft(s).
Delta Cryogenic Second Stage (DCSS) (Second Stage): 42.8 ft. (13 m) long, 16.7 ft. (5.1 m) in diameter and is powered by a single Aerojet-Rocketdyne RL10B-2 (RL-10) engine that burns liquid hydrogen (LH2) for fuel, liquid oxygen (LOX) as an oxidizer, produces 110 kN (24,750 lbf.) thrust in a vacuum with a specific impulse of 462 s in a vacuum and a burn time of 1125 seconds.
Graphite-Epoxy Motor 60 (GEM-60) Strap-On Solid Rocket Motors (SRM’s): Orbital ATK GEM-60s are 43.3 ft. (13.2 m) in length and 60 inches (152 centimeters) in diameter, burn hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) for fuel, provide 879 kN thrust at sea level at a specific impulse of 245 s and burn for 91 seconds.
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. The RS-68A utilizes liquid hydrogen (LH2) for fuel, liquid oxygen (LOX) as an oxidizer, produces 3,140 kN (705,000 lbf.) thrust at sea level with a specific impulse of 360 s at sea level and 412 s in a vacuum and has a burn time of 245 seconds.
ULA Webcast: http://www.ulalaunch.com/webcast.aspx
ULA YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/UnitedLaunchAlliance
ULA Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ulalaunch
NROL-47 Mission Information:
45th Space Wing L-1 Weather Forecast (not applicable for this launch): http://www.patrick.af.mil/About-Us/Weather
General 2018 Launch Schedule (Wiki): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_in_spaceflight
United Launch Alliance (ULA):
ULA homepage: http://www.ulalaunch.com/
Discover ULA: http://www.discoverula.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
Delta IV Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_IV
All Delta launches: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Thor_and_Delta_launches
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/