Sunday, March 22, 2015

Delta IV heavy gets solar mission

NASA last week selected United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy vehicle to launch the Solar Probe Plus mission to study the Sun's outer atmosphere. The mission is scheduled to launch in July 2018 from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The Delta IV Heavy has a center common booster core and two strap-on common booster cores, each powered by the RS-68 engine. An RL10 engine will power the second stage and a third stage will be provided by Orbital ATK. The Delta IV Heavy also was used in December to launch the Orion capsule in NASA's successful Exploration Flight Test 1. (Sources: multiple, including ULA via SpaceRef, 03/18/15, Spaceflight Insider, 03/20/15) Gulf Coast note: Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68 engines are tested at Stennis Space Center, Miss. Previous related