Iridium Launch Rescheduled

Philip Chien (
Mon, 16 Feb 1998 12:36:34 -0400

>Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Feb. 16, 1998 -- Officials
>scrubbed the launch of a Boeing Delta II expendable launch vehicle
>carrying five IRIDIUM(r) system satellites today due to high upper
>level winds.
>After assessing the weather forecast and range availability the
>Delta team has rescheduled the launch for February 17. The five
>second launch window opens at 6:03:45 a.m. PST.  Boeing will
>provide a live satellite broadcast feed from 5:30-6:30 a.m. PST.
>Satellite coordinates are: Galaxy K7, Transponder 16.
>Please call the Boeing Delta launch hotline for further details
>(714) 896-4770.

Boeing would like to get this rocket off the ground more than anybody else.
A Delta 2nd stage has a limited "lifetime" of about a month once its filled
with the hypergolic propellants.  The propellants are corrosive so after a
given length of time they have to destack the vehicle, remove the
propellants, clean the tanks out and replace the seals.  This had to be
done for the first Iridium launch due to the Delta stand-down after the GPS
IIR-1 failure.

It's especially tricky when you've got two vehicles tanked, one on each
coast which explained the bouncing back and forth between launch attempts.

I suggested that from now on they don't try to launch Deltas with 10 foot
fairings any time between December and February.

Philip Chien, KC4YER
Earth News
world (in)famous writer, science fiction fan, ham radio operator,
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