And they're off — what a great way to end the week! After several rain imposed delays United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket launches the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s STSS Demo payload at 8:20 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex – 17B at Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida. The launch service for the mission was provided on behalf of NASA. Photo by Carleton Bailie, United Launch Alliance.
“Building on the launch of the STSS ATRR mission in May, I congratulate both the Missile Defense Agency and NASA for the start of a second successful mission that will demonstrate technologies very important to the defense of our nation,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Delta Product Line. “Exceptional teamwork between, NASA, the 45th Space Wing, the Missile Defense Agency, and ULA Delta II team enabled today’s successful launch of the STSS Demo mission.”
After launch, the two STSS Demo spacecraft were both successfully deployed during a nominal flight lasting approximately 55 minutes.
Blasting off from Space Launch Complex-17B, the ULA Delta II 7920-10c configuration vehicle featured a ULA first stage booster powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A main engine and nine Alliant Techsystems strap-on solid rocket boosters. An Aerojet AJ10-118K engine powered the second stage. The payload was encased by a 10-foot-diameter composite payload fairing. ULA technicians, engineers, and management worked for more than two years to prepare the vehicle for the STSS Demo mission.
ULA’s next launch is the WorldView II mission, a commercial mission set to launch on behalf of Boeing Launch Services. The Worldview II launch is scheduled for October 8 aboard a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
Formed in 2006, ULA combines the successful Atlas and Delta expendable launch vehicle programs offering cost-effective and reliable launch services to U.S. government customers, including the Department of Defense, NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office and other commercial organizations.
ULA program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., Harlingen, Texas and San Diego, Calif. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
To learn more about this cooperative effort visit the ULA Website at.