Delta IV Medium Rocket, the Last Of Its Kind, Launches GPS Satellite for US Air Force

Space.com | 8/22/2019 | Amy Thompson
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A veteran rocket has made its final voyage, lofting a next-generation GPS satellite into orbit around Earth.

United - Launch - Alliance - ULA - Delta

The last United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Medium rocket lifted off on Thursday morning (Aug. 22) at 9:06 a.m. EDT (1306 GMT) on the vehicle's 29th mission. After nearly two decades in service, the massive orange-and-white launcher leapt off the pad at Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and delivered its final payload, a GPS III satellite for the U.S. Air Force.

The launch went off without a hitch after a few technical issues popped up, marking the second success in a month for ULA, which now has four launches under its belt this year.

Meet - Delta - Rocket - Family - United

Related: Meet the Delta Rocket Family of the United Launch Alliance

A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Medium rocket, the last of its kind, launches the GPS III Magellan navigation satellite for the U.S. Air Force from Space Launch Complex 37 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Aug. 22, 2019.

EDT - GMT

Liftoff occured at 9:06 a.m. EDT (1306 GMT).

A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Medium rocket, the last of its kind, launches the GPS III Magellan navigation satellite for the U.S. Air Force from Space Launch Complex 37 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Aug. 22, 2019.

EDT - GMT

Liftoff occured at 9:06 a.m. EDT (1306 GMT).

The flight also marks the last time a single-stick Delta IV will soar aloft and the last time an RS-68 engine (which powers the rocket) will fly alongside two solid rocket motors. Going forward, only the single-stick's big brother, the Delta IV Heavy — which consists of three single-stick cores strapped together — will ferry payloads to orbit.

ULA - Atlas

Eventually, ULA plans to phase out both Atlas...
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