VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- A Delta II rocket successfully delivered DigitalGlobe's WorldView-2 commercial satellite into orbit after launching the spacecraft from Space Launch Complex-2 at 11:51 a.m. PDT here today. United Launch Alliance provided the launch services for this mission on behalf of Boeing Launch Services. Delta II rockets previously launched both the Quickbird-2 mission in October 2001 and the WorldView-1 mission in September 2007 for DigitalGlobe.
After a nominal approximately one-hour flight, the WorldView-2 spacecraft was successfully deployed into its proper orbit. WorldView-2 was placed in a sun-synchronous orbit where the spacecraft will perform its mission of collecting high resolution commercial digital Earth imagery from space.
"Congratulations to both DigitalGlobe and Boeing Launch Services for this tremendous launch success," said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Delta Product Line. "ULA appreciates the confidence that DigitalGlobe has shown in our Delta team by launching WorldView-2 and two prior missions on Delta II rockets. Delta II has achieved a launch success record of nearly 99 percent, which is an incredible achievement and we are extremely proud to provide reliable and cost-effective launch services for our customers."
This was ULA's seventh Delta II launch of 2009 and 12th overall launch of the year. ULA began processing the Delta II launch vehicle in Decatur, Ala., two years ago. Hundreds of ULA employees worked to prepare the vehicle for the WorldView-2 mission.
For WorldView-2, the ULA Delta II 7920-10 configuration vehicle featured a first stage booster powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A main engine and nine Alliant Techsystems (ATK) strap-on solid rocket motors. An Aerojet AJ10-118K engine powered the second stage. The payload was encased by a 10-foot-diameter payload fairing.
ULA's next launch, currently scheduled for Oct. 18, is the DMSP-18 satellite for the U.S. Air Force aboard an Atlas V from Space Launch Complex-3 here.
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, Tex. and San Diego, Calif. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
For more information on the ULA joint venture, visit the ULA Web site at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321).
SOURCE United Launch Alliance
Web site: http://www.ulalaunch.com/