Boeing rolls out first government Delta 4 rocket
BY JUSTIN RAY
Posted: May 23, 2002
The second Boeing Delta 4 rocket, destined to fly the Air Force's first Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle mission, has rolled off the assembly line in preparation for blastoff in November.
Both new rockets are poised for their maiden launches this summer from Cape Canaveral, Florida, each carrying commercial communications satellites for Paris-based Eutelsat.
During a ceremony this week at Boeing's rocket manufacturing plant in Decatur, Alabama, government and industry leaders celebrated the completion of the second Delta 4 for its use to launch the Defense Satellite Communications Systems-B6 military spacecraft for the Air Force. Liftoff is currently targeted for November 13 from the Cape.
"Several years ago, we made a commitment to provide the Air Force with a new launch system that would address its future needs in space," said Gale Schluter, vice president and general manager for Boeing Expendable Launch Systems. "Today we are delivering on our promise. We have invested in the nation's need for assured access to space, by developing a launch system capable of carrying nearly any payload into any orbit."
"We are looking forward to demonstrating the true dual-use nature of the Delta 4 launch vehicle when this booster delivers a critical Department of Defense (DoD) communications satellite to orbit later this year," said Col. Susan Mashiko, Systems Program Office director for EELV. "That launch will mark the beginning of a new era in DoD space launch."
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