United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches 3rd Italian COSMO Satellite

Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., (Oct. 24, 2008) – A United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, on behalf of Boeing Launch Services, successfully launched the third Italian-built Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean Basin Observation or COSMO-SkyMed 3 satellite at 7:28 p.m., today. ULA successfully launched the first two Cosmo satellites on Delta II vehicles June 7, 2007 and Dec. 8, 2007.

ULA is pleased to have successfully launched the third of four critical Earth observation systems in this series for Boeing and Thales Alenia Space,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Delta Product Line. “With this 43rd successful commercial launch, the Delta II system continues its record of mission success, which is unparalleled in the U.S. space industry. This achievement is due to the hard work of our professional engineers and technicians along with the tremendous support we receive from our government, industry, and supplier mission partners. We look forward to many more Delta II launches in the years ahead.”

Blasting off from Space Launch Complex 2, it marked the fifth successful Delta II vehicle launch procured by The Boeing Company through its commercial launch business. The ULA Delta II 7420-10 configuration vehicle featured an ULA first stage booster powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A main engine and four Alliant Techsystems (ATK) strap-on solid rocket boosters. An Aerojet AJ10-118K engine powered the second stage. The payload was encased by a 10-foot-diameter composite payload fairing.

ULA began processing the Delta II launch vehicle in Decatur, Ala., nearly two years ago. In February, the 1st stage arrived from Decatur followed by the 2nd stage in August. The vehicle was erected on its stand at the pad Sept. 16, with solid rocket booster installation completed Sept. 19. Hundreds of ULA technicians, engineers, and management worked to prepare the vehicle for the COSMO-3 mission.

Developed by Thales Alenia Space, Italia for the Italian Space Agency and the Italian Ministry of Defense, COSMO-3 is the third of the four COSMO-SkyMed satellites. Each satellite is equipped with a high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar operating in X-band and is one of a constellation of four radar satellites. The overall objective of the program is global Earth observation and relevant data responding to the needs of the military and scientific community, as well as to the public demand for environmental control.

Formed in 2006, ULA combines the successful Atlas and Delta expendable launch vehicle programs offering cost-effective and reliable launch services to U.S. government customers, including the Department of Defense, NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office and other commercial organizations.

ULA program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., Harlingen, Texas and San Diego, Calif. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

For more information on the ULA joint venture, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321).

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Author: EARSC

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