A Boeing Delta II rocket blasted off on Wednesday carrying an experimental satellite for the US Military. The rocket lifted off at 2315 GMT (6:15 pm EDT) from Launch Complex 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and the satellite payload separated 30 minutes later. The payload is the Micro-Satellite Technology Experiment (MiTEx), which is designed to test how well off-the-shelf equipment will perform in space. If successful, it should help reduce the cost and development time for future satellites.
A Boeing [NYSE: BA] Delta II launch vehicle today successfully carried into orbit an experimental payload for the joint U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), U.S. Air Force and U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) team.
Liftoff of the Delta II 7925-9.5 configuration vehicle occurred at 6:15 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The payload was successfully deployed approximately 30 minutes later.
Jointly developed by DARPA, the Air Force and the Navy, the Micro-Satellite Technology Experiment (MiTEx) is an experimental payload that will help identify, integrate, test and evaluate small satellite technologies. The NRL provided the upper stage used to propel MiTEx into geosynchronous orbit.
“Today’s mission was a great team effort, involving talented people from DARPA, the Air Force, the launch range, The Aerospace Corporation and our suppliers, as well as the professionals on the Delta program,” said Dan Collins, vice president of Boeing Launch Systems. “The team faced many challenges, but maintained its focus on quality and teamwork throughout the mission.”
Today’s launch also marked the 250th Aerojet-supported Delta launch. Aerojet provided the second stage AJ10-118K engine. Other major Delta II hardware elements are the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A main engine, nine Alliant Techsystems GEM 40 solid rocket motors and the Boeing 9.5-foot diameter payload fairing.
The next Delta mission will be the first West Coast flight of a Boeing Delta IV launch vehicle, carrying a payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office from Space Launch Complex 6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., later this month.
Original Source: Boeing News Release