On Thursday, August 22, 2019, at 9:00 am EDT (targeted), with a 27-minute launch window, the last Delta IV-Medium will lift off. The United Launch Alliance mission delivering a payload to space will leave Space Launch Complex 37-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. With the Delta II retired and now the Delta IV Medium (excluding the Heavy), the Delta’s life cycle is waning. Many sad hearts this year.
This weeks launch vehicle configuration termed a Delta IV Medium 4,2, with a 4-meter fairing and 2 solid rocket boosters (SRB), will lift off and deliver the most advanced GPS satellite in the constellation. The GPS III SV-2 is manufactured by Lockheed Martin and will boast a 15-year shelf life, is 3X more accurate, and has an 8 times greater anti-jam capability. The GPS III will benefit the military, commercial and civilian applications.
Nicknamed ‘Magellan’ the GPS SAT, is the second in the series built for the United States Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. The first, currently in a ‘test’ mode launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon-9 in 2018. The plan is for 10 GPS – III SATS in the system orbiting our planet. GPS – Global Positioning Satellite virtually touches every electronic device on the planet.
The Delta IV 4,2 perched on the launch platform protected by the mobile service tower at Space Launch Complex 37-B, Cape Canaveral AFS.
- 29th and Final Delta IV Medium launch.
- Mostly military payloads.
- Evolved from the Delta III
- The fairing is same as used on the Delta III.
- Booster Engine – RS-68A Aerojet Rocketdyne – liquid hydrogen & liquid oxygen.
- Second Stage Engine – RL10B-2 – Aerojet Rocketdyne – Same fuel as the booster.
- Launching spacecraft to medium Earth orbit – MEO.
- Spacecraft separation 1:55+ minutes after liftoff.
- Extra boost by 2 solid rocket boosters (SRB)
- Delta IV height is 207 feet.
Playalinda Beach is a good viewing location and will be open for this launch. Anywhere around Jetty Park and south is a good viewing area. If access is granted, the bleachers across from Sands Missile Museum the Hwy 401 location.
Featured Image: Space Launch Complex 37-B, Mobile Service Tower and the Delta IV 4,2.