In a spectacular evening launch today, the first flight of the Boeing [NYSE: BA] Delta IV family of rockets successfully delivered the commercial telecommunications satellite W5 for Eutelsat S.A.
The Delta IV lifted off at 5:39 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 37B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Approximately 37 minutes after liftoff, the rocket deployed the W5 spacecraft to a geosynchronous transfer orbit with a perigee of 539 kilometers above the Earth.
The Delta IV rocket that deployed W5 was a Medium+ (4,2) configuration of the five-member Delta IV family of rockets developed by Boeing Expendable Launch Systems, a major program of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems.
The Medium+ category of the Delta IV features the Boeing Common Booster Core first stage, powered by the Boeing Rocketdyne RS-68 main engine; two Alliant Technologies strap-on solid rocket motors; the flight proven Pratt & Whitney RL10B-2 upper stage engine, and a four-meter Boeing composite payload fairing.
"We have successfully demonstrated the new Delta IV vehicle, and it will have a major impact on the world launch market," said Gale Schluter, vice president and general manager, Boeing Expendable Launch Systems. "I feel very proud to be a part of it, and I congratulate our Eutelsat customers on a successful deployment."
Eutelsat's W5 spacecraft, built by Alcatel Space, will serve a wide range of telecommunications users and service providers for video distribution and contribution links, occasional-use video, particularly Satellite News Gathering as well as Internet backbone connections. W5’s coverage will enable Eutelsat to increase its market presence in Asia as far as the Pacific.
"Boeing is delighted to have been selected by Eutelsat to launch the W5 satellite on the first flight of our Delta IV launch system," said Will Trafton, president of Boeing Launch Services. "Our mission success marks the beginning of a new era in global space transportation and demonstrates Boeing’s commitment to quality, performance and value for all of our customers."
"I'm very proud of our entire Delta team. Everyone on the team has worked very hard for this launch, and today it paid off in a spectacular, successful mission," said Dan Collins, vice president and program manager, Boeing Delta programs. "Space launch is a challenging business, and today our folks showed they are up to that challenge."
The next Delta IV launch, planned for early 2003, is the first mission for the U.S. Air Force Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. A Delta IV Medium rocket will deploy DSCS III A3, a satellite for the Defense Satellite Communication System.
Boeing plans to launch up to five Delta IV missions in 2003, which includes the first launch from Space Launch Complex 6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $23 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and 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 launch services.