26 November 2002
26 November 2002
In a spectacular evening launch, the first flight of the Boeing Delta IV family of rockets successfully delivered the commercial telecommunications satellite W5 for Eutelsat S.A.
The Delta IV lifted off 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+ 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 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.