Headlines > News > ULA Successfully Launches COSMO SkyMed-1

ULA Successfully Launches COSMO SkyMed-1

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Jun 9, 2007 8:00 am
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Vandenberg AFB, Calif. – A United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket successfully launched the Italian-built COSMO-SkyMed payload into orbit at 7:34 p.m., today. Blasting off from Space Launch Complex 2, it marked the first use of a ULA Delta II launch vehicle by Boeing Launch Services, a division of Boeing Network and Space Systems, for a commercial satellite.

“ULA is pleased to have successfully launched this critical Earth observation system for our customer,” said Mark Wilkins, vice president, ULA Delta programs. “Our launch team is comprised of the most experienced engineers and technicians in the industry and we look forward to continuing to provide reliable, innovative and cost effective launch services for future commercial launches.”

The ULA Delta II 7420-10 configuration vehicle featured an ULA first stage booster powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A main engine and four 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 composite payload fairing.

ULA began processing Cosmo’s Delta II launch vehicle in Decatur, Ala. In mid-February of this year, the 1st stage arrived here from Decatur, followed by the 2nd stage in April. The vehicle was erected at SLC-2 March 26, with solid rocket booster installation completed by the end of March.

COSMO-1, developed by Thales Alenia Space, Italia for Agenzia Spaziale Italiana and the Ministry of Defense is the first of the four COSMO-SkyMed (Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation) satellites scheduled for launch. The second in the series, COSMO-2, is set to launch on a Delta II from SLC-2 in late 2007 or early 2008.

Each satellite is a radar satellite equipped with a high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar operating in X-band. The overall objective of the program is global Earth observation and relevant data responding to the needs of the military and scientific community.

ULA’s next launch is an Atlas V set to blast off from SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., June 14, carrying a National Reconnaissance Office payload.

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, Texas and San Diego, Calif. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

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