ST. LOUIS, June 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A Boeing (NYSE: BA - News) Delta II launch vehicle successfully carried into orbit Wednesday 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.
"The 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."
The 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.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.8 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer; a foremost developer of advanced concepts and technologies; a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.
Source: The Boeing Company