Tue, Jan 14, 2003
A Boeing Delta II rocket successfully launched the
Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) and the Cosmic Hot
Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer Satellite (CHIPSat) Sunday in
a dual primary payload mission for NASA.
The Delta II lifted off at 4:45 p.m. PST from Space Launch
Complex 2W, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., delivering both
satellites to circular polar orbits. ICESat was deployed first at
one-hour and four minutes into flight, followed by CHIPSat, which
was deployed 19 minutes and 20 seconds later.
A Delta II 7320-10 launch vehicle with a Reduced Height Dual
Payload Attach Fitting (RH-DPAF) was used for the mission. The
RH-DPAF enables two satellites of different sizes to be launched
aboard the same rocket.
ICESat/CHIPSat marks the third dual primary payload mission
launched aboard a Delta II rocket for NASA. The other two were
EO-1/SAC-C on Nov. 21, 2000 and Jason-1/TIMED on Dec. 7, 2001.
"I'd like to thank the Delta team for another mission success.
The excellent cooperation between the many industry and government
participants involved in this mission made this achievement
possible. I look forward to the opportunities in 2003 to add to our
string of 49 consecutive successful Delta II missions as we
continue to provide reliable launch services for our customers,"
said Jay Witzling, vice president and Delta deputy program
The next Delta II mission is GPS IIR-8 for the U.S. Air Force on
Jan. 29 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The next Delta
II launch for NASA is the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF)
aboard the new Delta II Heavy in April from Cape Canaveral. The
Delta II Heavy uses nine 46-inch diameter Alliant Techsystems solid
rocket motors designed for the Delta III, that add 25 percent more
thrust capability for the Delta II.
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