Delta III Rocket
This article announces the development of the Delta III, which
may be an attractive launcher for the Artemis Project
spacecraft. The Delta Series is a reliable, low-cost
spacecraft line, and with this new launcher, it moves into the
range of our requirements for mass delivered to orbit.
Wed, May 10, 1995 11:43 AM
**New Delta III Rocket**
May 10, 1995
McDonnell Douglas announced today the development of the Delta III, a next
generation expendable launch vehicle. McDonnell Douglas will develop this
new intermediate-class rocket with its own funds, with a planned first
launch in 1998.
Payload capacity of the Delta III will be 8,400 pounds to geosynchronous
transfer orbit, more than twice the capability of the record-setting Delta II.
The initial customer for Delta III launches is Hughes Space and
Communications International, Inc., headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif.
MDA will design and develop the Delta III at the Huntington Beach, Calif.,
facility. Hughes and McDonnell Douglas have signed a contract for 10 firm
launches, plus options for additional launches through 2005. The total
value of the contract, depending on options exercised, could be up to $1.5
"The development of the Delta III furthers our corporate strategy to be the
technology leader in the aerospace industry," said Harry Stonecipher,
president and CEO of McDonnell Douglas. "One of the factors that has kept
the McDonnell franchise strong is our technological leadership in providing
our customers with next generation, performance-enhanced products. The
Delta III will carry on this tradition."
The new rocket will be capable of launching Hughes' largest model, the
HS601. McDonnell Douglas has launched 41 Hughes satellites since 1963, and
the Delta launch vehicle has achieved an unprecedented 100 percent success
rate over 49 launches.
"The Delta III provides customers a cost-effective, two stage vehicle in the
payload range where customer needs are growing, and the highest
concentration of commercial and government satellites exists," said Bill
Olson, senior vice president, MDA Space and Defense Systems. "Delta II and
the new Delta III will provide both commercial and government users
long-needed launch options. The combined firm backlog of 44 launches
underscores our already strong position in this market."
The most significant changes in Delta III's evolution from the existing
Delta II are a new single-engine, cryogenically propelled upper stage and a
larger fairing to house the payload.
Final assembly of the Delta III will take place in Pueblo, Colo., with final
checkout and launch at Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla.
Note: In 1998, McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing. You
can find additional information about the Delta rockets and other Boeing
products on the Boeing
Company's web site.
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