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Delta Series Data

Josh Hopkins

Vehicle        |     Payload  kg  (lbs)   |  Reliability  | Price
(nation)       |  LEO      Polar    GEO   |               |

Delta                                   48/49  98% in last 10 years
* Delta Lite    1985       1510     660                      ~$25m
   w/o SSRM    (4365)     (3320)   (1450)

* Delta Lite    2610       2030     860                      ~$25m
   w/ SSRM     (5740)     (4465)   (1890)

* Delta 7326    2865       2095     950                       ???
               (6300)     (4610)   (2090)

  Delta 7925    5,045      3,830    1,820                     $50m
              (11,100)   (8,420)   (4,000)

* Delta III       ?           ?     3,800                     ???
                                                      * Planned

The Delta launch vehicle family is built and marketed by McDonnell Douglas. The Delta II (6925 and 7925 configurations) has proved reliable, but is too small for most geosynchronous satellites. Therefore, McDonnell Douglas is developing the Delta III, with a much larger payload. Hughes has purchased 10 launches for its satellites. New Delta versions were also designed for NASA's Med-Lite contract, which sought launch vehicles between the size of small launchers like Pegasus, and the Delta II, which was the smallest of the large launchers. The smaller Delta versions will be used for future Mars missions, among other things. First launches for each of the new vehicles are planned for 1998.

The Delta III is the first member of the Delta Series to be of much use for the Artemis Project hardware, but if it follows in the steps of its predecessors, it will be an attractive option.

Based on Josh Hopkins's Sci.Space FAQ Section on Orbital and Planetary Launch Services.
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