Slated For Liftoff In 2007
Aero-News learned Tuesday that
Boeing has been awarded a contract to launch two commercial
satellites in 2007 for Alcatel Alenia Space Italia, the prime
contractor of the Italian Space Agency.
Two Delta II expendable launch vehicles, both in the 7420-10
configuration, will each carry into orbit a COSMO-SkyMed spacecraft
from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.
"Boeing Launch Services is honored to support these missions for
Alcatel Alenia Space, the European leader in satellite-based
solutions," said Boeing Launch Services Director Ken Heinly. "The
COSMO/SkyMed system is a critical mission for Italian science,
commerce and security, and the Delta II was selected for its
reliability, timeliness and affordability."
The Delta 7420-10 configuration is approximately 126 feet tall
and eight feet wide. It features a first stage and four strap-on
solid propellant rocket motors, an interstage and a second stage.
The first stage RS-27A main engine is manufactured by Pratt &
Whitney Rocketdyne, Canoga Park, Calif. The solid strap-on motors
are provided by Alliant Techsystems, Minneapolis, Minn. The main
engine and the four solid rocket motors deliver a total thrust of
485,000 pounds at liftoff.
An AJ10-118K engine, built by Aerojet in Sacramento, CA powers
the second stage. Ignited at altitude, the engine has a
vacuum-rated thrust of about 9,800 pounds.
COSMO-SkyMed is an end-to-end Earth observation dual-use (civil
and military) system composed of four satellites and ground
stations. The system will take radar imagery of the Earth using an
X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar instrument at the request of
institutional (including defense, civil and scientific) and
Boeing Launch Services will procure the launch vehicles and
related support from United Launch Alliance. As Aero-News reported,
the Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture began operation on
Boeing Launch Services is headquartered in Huntington Beach, CA
and is a business unit of the Command, Control and Communications
Networks operating division under Boeing Integrated Defense