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Delta IV
Delta IV Large
Delta IV Large
Credit: © Mark Wade
American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta IV was the world's first all-LOx/LH2 launch vehicle and represented the only all-new-technology launch vehicle developed in the United States since the 1970's. It was the winner of the bulk of the USAF EELV orders and was based on the all-new RS-68-powered LOx/LH2 cryogenic Common Booster Core (CBC). This could be used with new Delta cryogenic upper stages powered by the RL10 engine but unrelated to previous Centaur upper stages. It could be flown without augmentation, or use 2-4 large GEM-60 solid rocket boosters. The heavy lift version used two core vehicles as a first stage, flanking the single core vehicle second stage.

Status: Active.

The configuration of Delta IV vehicles was encoded as follows:

  • First digit: basic vehicle configuration: 4 = Delta-4 Lox/LH2 core
  • Second digit: Number of GEM-60 solid propellant strap-ons (0, 2, or 4).
  • Third digit: Second stage
    • 4 = Delta-4 Lox/LH2 cryogenic upper stage with 4 m diameter
    • 5 = Delta-4 Lox/LH2 cryogenic upper stage with 5 m diameter
  • Fourth digit: Third stage
    • 0 = No third stage
    • 3 = Star 37D / TE-364-3 solid propellant kick stage
    • 4 = Star 37E / TE-364-4 solid propellant kick stage
    • 5 = Star-48B / PAM-D solid propellant kick stage (often listed as '0' upper stage with a PAM-D due to the modular nature of the PAM configuration).
    • 6 = Star 37FM solid propellant kick stage
  • Optional letter after fourth digit: An 'H' here indicates a 'Heavy' configuration, indicating use of two strap-on Common Booster Cores (CBC) to supplement the CBC on the core stage.
  • Dash number: Payload fairing. For Delta II, this indicates the diameter of the fairing in feet. For Delta III or Delta IV, it indicates the length of the fairing in meters.



Subtopics

Delta 4M+(4,2) American orbital launch vehicle. As Delta 4 medium but with 2 x GEM-60 solid rocket boosters and a 4 m diameter payload fairing.

Delta 4H American orbital launch vehicle. Heavy lift all-cryogenic launch vehicle using two Delta-4 core vehicles as first stage flanking a single core vehicle as second stage. A heavy upper stage is carried with a 5 m diameter payload fairing.

Next Generation Delta 100 t American orbital launch vehicle. Conceptual next generation Delta booster beyond Delta IV Heavy, equaling Saturn V of the 1960's in payload capability. The booster would use two parallel 7-m-diameter booster stages, a notional RS-XXX LOx/LH2 rocket motor, and a 7 m diameter upper stage and fairing. Payload fairings of 7 m diameter could be accommodated. Introduction would require new launch pads and booster assembly infrastructure, and a new factory to handle the larger-diameter tooling.

Delta IV Small American orbital launch vehicle. Light launch vehicle using the Delta-4 core with the traditional Delta K and PAM-D upper stages. 2 m diameter payload fairing. Not flown as of 2008 but cancellation of the Delta II could lead to its eventual use.

Delta 4M+(5,4) American orbital launch vehicle. As Delta 4 medium but with 4 x GEM-60 solid rocket boosters and a 5 m diameter payload fairing.

Delta 4M+(5,2) American orbital launch vehicle. As Delta 4 medium but with 2 x GEM-60 solid rocket boosters and a 5 m diameter payload fairing.

Delta-IVH American orbital launch vehicle variant, upgraded version of Delta-4H.

Delta-IVM+(5,4) (upg.) American orbital launch vehicle variant, upgraded version of Delta-4M+(5,4).

Delta-IVM+(5,2) (upg.) American orbital launch vehicle variant, upgraded version of Delta-4M+(5,2).

Delta-IVM+(4,2) (upg.) American orbital launch vehicle variant, upgraded version of Delta-4M+(4,2).

Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 30 t American orbital launch vehicle. Proposed upgrade to Delta IV Heavy by adding 4 GEM-60 solid rocket boosters. 6.5 m diameter payload fairing. Introduction would require modifications to existing launch pads.

Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 35 t American orbital launch vehicle. Proposed upgrade to Delta IV Heavy by adding RS-68B upgraded engines to the core vehicles and an AUS-60 upper stage powered by 2 MB-45 or RL-45 20 metric ton thrust LOx/LH2 engines. 6.5 m diameter payload fairing. Introduction would require modifications to existing launch pads.

Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 40 t American orbital launch vehicle. Proposed upgrade to Delta IV Heavy by adding 4 GEM-60 solid rocket boosters, RS-68 Regen upgraded engines with regeneratively-cooled nozzles to the core vehicles, and cryogenic propellant densification. 6.5 m diameter payload fairing. Introduction would require modifications to existing launch pads.

Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 42 t American orbital launch vehicle. Proposed upgrade to Delta IV Heavy by adding new RS-800 engines to the core vehicles, an AUS-60 upper stage powered by 2 MB-60 or RL-60 27 metric ton thrust LOx/LH2 engines, and aluminum-lithium lightweight alloy in place of the existing aluminum in all stages. 6.5 m diameter payload fairing. Introduction would require modifications to existing launch pads.

Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 43 t American orbital launch vehicle. Proposed upgrade to Delta IV Heavy by adding 4 GEM-60 solid rocket boosters, RS-68 Regen upgraded engines with regeneratively-cooled nozzles to the core vehicles, cryogenic propellant densification, and an AUS-60 upper stage powered by 1 MB-60 or RL-60 27 metric ton thrust LOx/LH2 engine. 6.5 m diameter payload fairing. Introduction would require modifications to existing launch pads.

Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 45 t American orbital launch vehicle. Proposed upgrade to Delta IV Heavy by adding 6 GEM-60 solid rocket boosters, RS-68B upgraded engines to the core vehicles, and an AUS-60 upper stage powered by 1 MB-60 or RL-60 27 metric ton thrust LOx/LH2 engine. 6.5 m diameter payload fairing. Introduction would require modifications to existing launch pads.

Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 48 t American orbital launch vehicle. Proposed upgrade to Delta IV Heavy by adding 4 GEM-60 solid rocket boosters, RS-68 Regen upgraded engines with regeneratively-cooled nozzles to the core vehicles, cryogenic propellant densification, and cryogenic propellant cross-feed between the strap-ons and core. 6.5 m diameter payload fairing. Introduction would require modifications to existing launch pads.

Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 53 t American orbital launch vehicle. Proposed upgrade to Delta IV Heavy by clustering five common booster modules, using an AUS-60 upper stage powered by 2 MB-60 or RL-60 27 metric ton thrust LOx/LH2 engines, and aluminum-lithium lightweight alloy in place of the existing aluminum in all stages. Payload fairings over 6.5 m diameter could be accommodated. Introduction would require new launch pads and booster assembly infrastructure.

Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 67 t American orbital launch vehicle. Proposed upgrade to Delta IV Heavy by clustering seven common booster modules, and using an AUS-60 upper stage powered by 2 MB-60 or RL-60 27 metric ton thrust LOx/LH2 engines. A payload fairing over 6.5 m diameter could be accommodated. Introduction would require new launch pads and booster assembly infrastructure.

Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 70 t American orbital launch vehicle. Proposed upgrade to Delta IV Heavy by clustering seven common booster modules, using an AUS-60 upper stage powered by 3 MB-60 or RL-60 27 metric ton thrust LOx/LH2 engines. A payload fairing over 6.5 m diameter could be accommodated. Introduction would require new launch pads and booster assembly infrastructure.

Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 76 t American orbital launch vehicle. Proposed upgrade to Delta IV Heavy by clustering seven common booster modules, using an AUS-60 upper stage powered by 3 MB-60 or RL-60 27 metric ton thrust LOx/LH2 engines, and aluminum-lithium lightweight alloy in place of the existing aluminum in all stages. Payload fairings over 6.5 m diameter could be accommodated. Introduction would require new launch pads and booster assembly infrastructure.

Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 87 t American orbital launch vehicle. Proposed upgrade to Delta IV Heavy by clustering seven common booster modules, using a new RS-800K engine in the booster stages, and an AUS-60 27 metric ton thrust LOx/LH2 upper stage. Payload fairings over 6.5 m diameter could be accommodated. Introduction would require new launch pads and booster assembly infrastructure.

Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 94 t American orbital launch vehicle. Proposed upgrade to Delta IV Heavy by clustering seven common booster modules, using a new RS-800K engine in the booster stages, an AUS-60 upper stage powered by 4 MB-60 or RL-60 27 metric ton thrust LOx/LH2 engines, and aluminum-lithium lightweight alloy in place of the existing aluminum in all stages. Payload fairings over 6.5 m diameter could be accommodated. Introduction would require new launch pads and booster assembly infrastructure.

Delta-IVM (upg.) American orbital launch vehicle variant, upgraded version of Delta-4M.

Family: orbital launch vehicle. Country: USA. Spacecraft: ANGELS, EIS, GSSAP, Quasar, Topaz, DSP, DSCS III, HS 601, Advanced Orion, Spacebus 3000, DMSP Block 5D-3, HS 702, 3CSat, Jumpseat-2, GPS Block 2F, Orion. Agency: Douglas. Bibliography: 2, 455, 552, 554, 8253.
Photo Gallery

Delta LV FamilyDelta LV Family
From left: Thor-Delta, Delta A, Delta B, Delta E, Delta M, Delta 2000, Delta 6000, Delta 7000 Heavy, Delta 3, Delta IV, Delta Heavy.
Credit: © Mark Wade



2002 November 20 - . 22:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(4,2).
  • Eutelsat W5 - . Payload: Spacebus 3000B2. Mass: 3,170 kg (6,980 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: Eutelsat. Manufacturer: Cannes. Program: Eutelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Spacebus 3000. USAF Sat Cat: 27554 . COSPAR: 2002-051A. Apogee: 35,801 km (22,245 mi). Perigee: 35,788 km (22,237 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.50 min.

    Maiden flight of the Delta 4 EELV booster, delayed due to development problems from January and November 2001, April 30, July 15, August 31, October 9, November 3, 16 and 19. EUTELSAT W5 was a European (EUTELSAT Consortium) geostationary communication spacecraft. EUTELSAT W5 was to provide voice, video, and Internet services to all countries in western Europe, central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent through its 24 Ku-band transponders after being parked over 70.5 E longitude. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 70.55E drifting at 0.004W degrees per day.


2003 March 11 - . 00:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M.
  • USA 167 - . Payload: DSCS III A-3. Mass: 1,235 kg (2,722 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DSCS. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DSCS III. USAF Sat Cat: 27691 . COSPAR: 2003-008A. First flight of a fully cryogenic orbital launch vehicle. Delayed from December 2001, February 2, 6, 8, 11, 12 and March 8 2003. Satellite mas 2,733 kg with kick stage..

2003 August 29 - . 23:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M.
  • USA 170 - . Payload: DSCS-3-B6. Mass: 1,235 kg (2,722 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DSCS III. USAF Sat Cat: 27875 . COSPAR: 2003-040A. Delayed from July 1, 11 and 23, then August 3 and 28..

2004 December 21 - . 21:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4H.
  • USA 181 - . Payload: Demosat / HLVOLSDP. Mass: 5,993 kg (13,212 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. USAF Sat Cat: 28500 . COSPAR: 2004-050A. Apogee: 36,413 km (22,625 mi). Perigee: 19,035 km (11,827 mi). Inclination: 13.4790 deg. Period: 1,044.23 min.

    Mass model payload. First launch of a heavy EELV. The demonstration satellite was supposed to have been inserted into a sub-geosynchronous 36,350 km circular orbit but was instead deployed in a 19,035 km x 36,413 km orbit following a 5-hour and 50-minute flight. A shorter than expected first burn of the Centaur upper stage led to an orbit well below that planned. The Air Force EELV program office claimed that the primary flight objectives were accomplished. These included the heavy boost phase, flight of the new five-meter diameter Centaur upper stage and five-meter payload fairing, extended coast, upper stage third burn and payload separation, and activation and usage of Space Launch Complex 37B. Delayed from September 2003, July 3, September 10, November 18, December 10, 11 and 12.

  • 3CSat 1 Sparkie - . Payload: Nanosat 2. Mass: 15 kg (33 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Manufacturer: New Mexico. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: 3CSat. COSPAR: 2004-050x.

    One of a pair of student-built nanosats for stero cloud imagery. The satellites did not contact the ground after separation from the booster in a lower-than-planned orbit and their fate was unclear. It was believed that they separated but re-entered rapidly from the 105 km perigee orbit.

  • 3CSat 2 Ralphie - . Payload: Nanosat 2. Mass: 15 kg (33 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Manufacturer: Colorado. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: 3CSat. COSPAR: 2004-050x.

2006 May 24 - . 22:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(4,2).
  • GOES 13 - . Mass: 3,199 kg (7,052 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NOAA. Manufacturer: Boeing. Program: GOES. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: HS 601. USAF Sat Cat: 29155 . COSPAR: 2006-018A. Apogee: 35,791 km (22,239 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min.

    GOES-13 carried weather imager and sounder instruments, a space environment monitor, and a soft X-ray solar imaging telescope. Mass was 1543 kg empty. It joined GOES 10 (operating as GOES-WEST), GOES 12 (operating as GOES-EAST) and GOES 11 (on standby, set to replace GOES-10 on June 27). As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 105.26W drifting at 0.008W degrees per day.


2006 June 25 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(4,2).
  • USA 184 - . Payload: Raven 4 / NROL-22. Mass: 4,500 kg (9,900 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO. Class: Surveillance. Type: ELINT. Spacecraft: Raven satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 29249 . COSPAR: 2006-027A. Apogee: 39,000 km (24,000 mi). Perigee: 1,100 km (600 mi). Inclination: 63.6000 deg. Period: 720.00 min.

    Secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. The intended orbit was thought to be a "Molniya" elliptical 12-hour orbit with an inclination of 63 degrees. American data relay and signals intelligence satellites have used this orbit in the past, notably the Jumpseat series of 1971-1983. A secondary payload was later confirmed to be the first SBIRS-HEO (Space-based Infrared System) sensor. SBIRS was the successor to the DSP (Defence Support Program), which provided early warning of missile launches. Also carried the NASA/Los Alamos TWINS-A magnetospheric research payload


2006 November 4 - . 13:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M.
  • DMSP-Block-5D3-F17 - . Mass: 1,154 kg (2,544 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: TIROS N. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-3. USAF Sat Cat: 29522 . COSPAR: 2006-050A. Apogee: 855 km (531 mi). Perigee: 841 km (522 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 101.90 min.

    Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellite with the Operational Linescan System camera, a microwave imager-sounder, ultraviolet spectrometers, particle detectors, a magnetometer, and a laser threat warning sensor. Reportedly went for a time into safe mode due to software problems after launch. The booster upper stage was conducted a maneuver to deorbit itself after placing the satellite in orbit. After the burn an explosion evidently occurred aboard the stage - dozens of objects were tracked in various orbits with perigees down to 670 km and apogees up to 851 km.


2007 November 11 - . 01:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4H.
  • USA 197 - . Payload: DSP-1 Block 18 F23. Mass: 2,270 kg (5,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NSA. Manufacturer: TRW. Class: Surveillance. Type: Early warning satellite. Spacecraft: DSP. USAF Sat Cat: 32287 . COSPAR: 2007-054A. Apogee: 36,325 km (22,571 mi). Perigee: 35,800 km (22,200 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min.

    Final DSP launch. The series was to be replaced by SBIRS, which was in the middle of a troubled development program. The Delta 4H performed well after problems on its first launch. The RL10-powered upper stage made three burns before releasing the early-warning satellite in its final geosynchronous orbit. Total cost of the flight was $700 million, with the DSP worth $400 million. The DSP carried a special 25 kg supplementary payload designed to detect extremely small nuclear tests in space. The payload was required by a secret White House/National Security Council directive to detect any attempted covert nuclear tests by Iran or North Korea.


2009 January 18 - . 02:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4H.
  • USA 202 - . Payload: Orion 6 / NROL-26. Mass: 5,400 kg (11,900 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO. Class: Surveillance. Type: ELINT. Spacecraft: Advanced Orion. USAF Sat Cat: 33490 . COSPAR: 2009-001A. Apogee: 38,077 km (23,659 mi). Perigee: 35,943 km (22,333 mi). Inclination: 3.0000 deg. Period: 1,440.00 min. Classified signals intelligence satellite. It was speculated that it was a large-antenna spacecraft with the same mission as earlier Rhyolite, Aquacade, Magnum, and Orion missions..

2009 June 27 - . 22:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(4,2).
  • GOES 14 - . Payload: HS 601HP. Mass: 3,210 kg (7,070 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Martin. Program: GOES. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: HS 601. USAF Sat Cat: 35491 . COSPAR: 2009-033A. Apogee: 35,788 km (22,237 mi). Perigee: 35,786 km (22,236 mi). Inclination: 0.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite..

2009 December 6 - . 01:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(5,4).
  • USA 211 - . Payload: WGS 3. Mass: 5,990 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Martin. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 702. USAF Sat Cat: 36108 . COSPAR: 2009-068A. Apogee: 64,827 km (40,281 mi). Perigee: 31,268 km (19,428 mi). Inclination: 0.6000 deg. Period: 2,106.00 min. US Army Wideband Global Satcom, carried X-band and Ka-band communications payloads..

2010 March 4 - . 23:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(4,2).
  • GOES 15 - . Mass: 3,240 kg (7,140 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Martin. Program: GOES. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: HS 601. USAF Sat Cat: 36411 . COSPAR: 2010-008A. Apogee: 35,803 km (22,246 mi). Perigee: 35,770 km (22,220 mi). Inclination: 0.3000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

2010 May 28 - . 03:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(4,2).
  • USA 213 - . Payload: Navstar 65 / GPS SVN 62 / IIF-1 / Polaris. Mass: 1,630 kg (3,590 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Boeing. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Navstar. Spacecraft: GPS Block 2F. USAF Sat Cat: 36585 . COSPAR: 2010-022A. Apogee: 20,225 km (12,567 mi). Perigee: 20,188 km (12,544 mi). Inclination: 55.0000 deg. Period: 719.00 min.

    First Block IIF Global Positioning System satellite. Supported the L1M and L2M military GPS channels, the L2C civilian channel and a new L5 civilian channel. Also included a nuclear explosion detection system. The IIF system replaces earlier Block I, Block II, and IIA series built by Rockwell/Seal Beach (now part of Boeing) and Block IIR satellites built by Lockheed Martin/Valley Forge.


2010 November 21 - . 22:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4H.
  • USA 223 - . Payload: Orion 7 / NROL-32. Mass: 5,400 kg (11,900 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Surveillance. Type: ELINT. Spacecraft: Advanced Orion. USAF Sat Cat: 37232 . COSPAR: 2010-063A. Apogee: 35,800 km (22,200 mi). Perigee: 35,800 km (22,200 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min. Probable geosynchronous signals intelligence satellite..

2011 January 20 - . 21:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4H.
  • USA 224 - . Payload: EIS-6 / NROL-49. Mass: 17,000 kg (37,000 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: EIS. USAF Sat Cat: 37348 . COSPAR: 2011-002A. National Reconnaissance Office satellite placed into 252 km x 1023 km x 97.9 deg polar orbit, consistent with reports that it is was an Improved CRYSTAL type (KH-11 derivative) imaging reconnaissance satellite..

2011 March 11 - . 23:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(4,2).
  • USA 227 - . Payload: NROL-27. Nation: USA. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Quasar. USAF Sat Cat: 37377 . COSPAR: 2011-011A. Apogee: 35,800 km (22,200 mi). Perigee: 35,800 km (22,200 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,440.00 min. Probable classified Satellite Data System communications satellite inserted into geostationary orbit..

2011 July 16 - . 06:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(4,2).
  • USA 232 - . Payload: Navstar 66 / GPS SVN 63 / IIF-2 / Sirius. Mass: 1,630 kg (3,590 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Boeing. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Navstar. Spacecraft: GPS Block 2F. USAF Sat Cat: 37753 . COSPAR: 2011-036A. Apogee: 20,188 km (12,544 mi). Perigee: 20,177 km (12,537 mi). Inclination: 55.0000 deg. Period: 718.00 min. Second Block IIF Global Positioning System satellite..

2012 January 20 - . 00:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(5,4).
  • USA 233 - . Payload: WGS 4. Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 702. USAF Sat Cat: 38070 . COSPAR: 2012-003A. Apogee: 66,872 km (41,552 mi). Perigee: 27,959 km (17,372 mi). Inclination: 1.1000 deg. Period: 2,069.50 min. Fourth Wideband Global Satcom satellite, providing high bandwidth communications for the US military. Operated by US Army Space Command, placed in an initial supersynchronous geostationary transfer orbit..

2012 April 3 - . 23:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(5,2).
  • USA 234 - . Payload: NROL-25. Nation: USA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft: Topaz. USAF Sat Cat: 38109 . COSPAR: 2012-014A. Second FIA Radarsat mission, following NROL-41 / USA-25 / 2010-46A..

2012 June 29 - . 13:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4H.
  • USA 237 - . Payload: Orion 8 / NROL-15. Mass: 5,400 kg (11,900 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Surveillance. Type: ELINT. Spacecraft: Advanced Orion. USAF Sat Cat: 38528 . COSPAR: 2012-034A. Apogee: 35,800 km (22,200 mi). Perigee: 35,800 km (22,200 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,440.00 min. Probable geosynchronous signals intelligence satellite..

2012 October 4 - . 00:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(4,2).
  • USA 239 - . Payload: Navstar 67 / GPS SVN 65 /IIF-3 / SV-1 Arcturus. Mass: 1,630 kg (3,590 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Boeing. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Navstar. Spacecraft: GPS Block 2F. USAF Sat Cat: 38833 . COSPAR: 2012-053A. Apogee: 20,192 km (12,546 mi). Perigee: 20,174 km (12,535 mi). Inclination: 55.0000 deg. Period: 718.00 min.

    Third GPS Block IIF satellite, spacecraft 65; replaced SVN 39 in the Navstar constellation. The upper stage and payload first entered a 163 km x 394 km x 41.6 deg parking orbit, followed by a 254 km x 20448 km x 43.3 deg transfer orbit and then a third burn into the final 20426 km x 20481 km x 55.0 deg circular orbit where the satellite was deployed. The RL-10 second stage engine operated at lower than planned thrust during the first two burns, but onboard software compensated by increasing the duration of the engine firings.


2013 May 25 - . 00:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(5,4).
  • USA 243 - . Payload: WGS 5. Mass: 5,987 kg (13,199 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 702. USAF Sat Cat: 39168 . COSPAR: 2013-024A. Apogee: 40,362 km (25,079 mi). Perigee: 31,171 km (19,368 mi). Inclination: 0.2300 deg. Period: 1,435.07 min. Wideband Gapfiller Satellite; provided communications for the US military from geosynchronous orbit..

2013 August 8 - . 00:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(5,4).
  • USA 244 - . Payload: WGS 6. Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 702. USAF Sat Cat: 39222 . COSPAR: 2013-041A. Apogee: 66,680 km (41,430 mi). Perigee: 20,934 km (13,007 mi). Inclination: 2.7600 deg. Period: 1,864.76 min. US military X/Ka-band Wideband Global Satcom communications satellite. Funded by Australia; the Australian Defense Force also makes use of the WGS network..

2013 August 28 - . 18:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4H.
  • USA 245 - . Payload: EIS- 7 / NROL-65. Mass: 15,000 kg (33,000 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: EIS. USAF Sat Cat: 39232 . COSPAR: 2013-043A. Apogee: 1,002 km (622 mi). Perigee: 259 km (160 mi). Inclination: 97.9000 deg. Secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office; thought to be an imaging spy satellite of the EIS/Enhanced CRYSTAL type..

2014 February 21 - . 01:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(4,2).
  • USA 248 - . Payload: Navstar 69 / GPS SVN 64 / IIF-5 / Canopus. Mass: 1,630 kg (3,590 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Navstar. Spacecraft: GPS Block 2F. USAF Sat Cat: 39533 . COSPAR: 2014-008A. Apogee: 20,201 km (12,552 mi). Perigee: 20,163 km (12,528 mi). Inclination: 54.9400 deg. Period: 717.99 min. Block IIF Global Positioning System satellite; GPS Space Vehicle Number 64, the fifth in the IIF series..

2014 May 17 - . 00:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(4,2).
  • USA 251 - . Payload: Navstar 70 / GPS SVN 67 / IIF-6 / Rigel. Mass: 1,630 kg (3,590 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Navstar. Spacecraft: GPS Block 2F. USAF Sat Cat: 39741 . COSPAR: 2014-026A. Apogee: 20,187 km (12,543 mi). Perigee: 20,175 km (12,536 mi). Inclination: 55.0600 deg. Period: 717.92 min.

2014 July 28 - . 23:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(4,2).
  • USA 253 - . Payload: GSSAP-1. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ULAB. Spacecraft Bus: GeoStar-1. Spacecraft: GSSAP. USAF Sat Cat: 40099 . COSPAR: 2014-043A. Apogee: 35,500 km (22,000 mi). Perigee: 35,500 km (22,000 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Designed to catalog satellites and space debris in geostationary orbit. Built by Orbital for US Air Force Space Command. Orbit and mass classified; figures shown are speculative..
  • USA 254 - . Payload: GSSAP-2. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ULAB. Spacecraft Bus: GeoStar-1. Spacecraft: GSSAP. USAF Sat Cat: 40100 . COSPAR: 2014-043B. Apogee: 35,500 km (22,000 mi). Perigee: 35,500 km (22,000 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Designed to catalog satellites and space debris in geostationary orbit. Built by Orbital for US Air Force Space Command. Orbit and mass classified; figures shown are speculative..
  • USA 255 - . Payload: ANGELS. Mass: 70 kg (154 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ULAB. Spacecraft: ANGELS. USAF Sat Cat: 40101 . COSPAR: 2014-043C. Apogee: 35,500 km (22,000 mi). Perigee: 15,000 km (9,000 mi). Inclination: 25.0000 deg.

    Small satellite for the Air Force Research Lab which made observations of the Delta rocket's second stage at ranges from 50 kilometers down to a few kilometers, for further development of satellite inspection technology. Orbit and mass classified; figures shown are speculative.


2014 December 5 - . 12:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: Cape Canaveral SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4H.
  • Orion EFT-1 - . Mass: 9,400 kg (20,700 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Orion CEV. Spacecraft: Orion. Decay Date: 2014-12-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 40329 . COSPAR: 2014-077A. Apogee: 5,809 km (3,609 mi). Perigee: -37 km (-37 mi). Inclination: 28.8000 deg.

    Exploration Flight Test 1 used an Orion Crew Module (probably around 9400 kg) with an LAS launch escape tower, atop a dummy Service Module with jettisonable side panels, which in turn was fixed to the OSA (Orion-to-Stage-Adapter). This vehicle was mounted on the second stage of a Delta IV Heavy vehicle 369. Delta 369's second stage was inserted into a 185 km x 888 km x 28.8 deg orbit at 12:22 GMT, 17 minutes after launch. The stage made a second burn at 14:00, entering a -37 km x 5.807 km orbit; apogee was at 1510. At 15:28 the Orion CM separated from the stage. The Orion CM made a small RCS adjust burn at 16:02 and entered the atmosphere at 8.9 km/s at 16:18, landing at 16:29 off Baja California at 23.60 deg N x 116.46 deg W. It was recovered by the USS Anchorage.


2015 March 25 - . 18:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: Cape Canaveral SLC37. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(4,2).
  • USA 260 - . Payload: Navstar 73 / GPS SVN 71 / IIF-9 / Deneb. Mass: 1,630 kg (3,590 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Navstar. Spacecraft: GPS Block 2F. USAF Sat Cat: 40534 . COSPAR: 2015-013A. Apogee: 20,195 km (12,548 mi). Perigee: 20,169 km (12,532 mi). Inclination: 55.0400 deg. Period: 717.97 min. Nicknamed Deneb; launched into a 12-hour-period orbit to join the navigation constellation..

2015 July 24 - . 00:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(5,4).
  • USA 263 - . Payload: WGS 7. Mass: 6,200 kg (13,600 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 702. USAF Sat Cat: 40746 . COSPAR: 2015-036A. Apogee: 66,798 km (41,506 mi). Perigee: 494 km (306 mi). Inclination: 24.1000 deg.

    Wideband Global Satcom military communications satellite launched initially into a supersynchronous geotransfer orbit. WGS satellites were managed by the USAF Space and Missile Center and replaced the older DSCS system with X-band and Ka-band communications systems. Second Delta 4 launch to use the uprated RS-68A main engine.


2016 February 10 - . 11:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(5,2).
  • USA 267 - . Payload: TOPAZ 4?. Nation: USA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft: Topaz. USAF Sat Cat: 41334 . COSPAR: 2016-010A. Apogee: 1,085 km (674 mi). Perigee: 1,078 km (669 mi). Inclination: 123.0000 deg. Satellite for the US National Reconnaissance Office. The launch was designated NRO L-45. The USA 267 payload was observed in a 1078 x 1085 km orbit with a retrograde 123 degree inclination, characteristic of the TOPAZ radar imaging satellites..

2016 June 11 - . 17:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: Cape Canaveral SLC37. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4H.
  • USA 268 - . Payload: SIGINT. Nation: USA. Class: Surveillance. Type: ELINT. Spacecraft: Advanced Orion. USAF Sat Cat: 41584 . COSPAR: 2016-036A. Apogee: 36,000 km (22,000 mi). Perigee: 35,612 km (22,128 mi). Inclination: 7.5000 deg.

    The NROL-37 mission was a large signals intelligence (SIGINT) satellite, placed in geosynchronous orbit at 103 deg E over the Indian Ocean. Possibly the second Orion/Sharp model. There were two main lineages of GEO SIGINT satellites operated by the US National Reconnaissance Office: MERCURY (originally CANYON); and RHYOLITE (later AQUACADE), which was replaced in the 1980s by ORION (whose other rumoured codenames include MAGNUM and MENTOR). Launches of the MERCURY series ended in 1998, at which time it was rumoured that its capabilites would be merged into the ORION series. A number of observers suggested that the 2014 GEO SIGINT launch of USA 250 on an Atlas V was a one-off mission not part of the ORION series, and that with an increase in mass ORION had moved to using the RS-68A-powered Delta 4 Heavy rockets. It was further been suggested that the 2014 launch might be the NEMESIS 2 satellite mentioned in leaked FY2013 budget documents; however a close reading of those documents showed that funding for the latter project was cut off after FY2011, which implies that it was either launched by then or cancelled (more likely given the sudden drop from half-billion-dollar-level funding to zero). The documents also mention SHARP, the SIGINT High Altitude Replenishment Program, funded at a high level in FY2011-2013 and reportedly also since. It's possible the 2012 and 2016 launches may represent a new ORION/SHARP series, or that they are beefed up ORION and the 2014 launch was a SHARP prototype. The shorter fairing used for the 2014 launch suggests that it was not in fact an ORION.


2016 August 19 - . 04:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: Cape Canaveral SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(4,2).
  • USA 270 - . Payload: GSSAP 3. Nation: USA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Orbital object tracking satellite. Spacecraft Bus: GeoStar-1. Spacecraft: GSSAP. USAF Sat Cat: 41744 . COSPAR: 2016-052A. Apogee: 35,819 km (22,256 mi). Perigee: 35,749 km (22,213 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Placed in geosynchronous orbit at 111 deg W. The satellites will drift in the geostationary ring making observations of the orbits of other satellites..
  • USA 271 - . Payload: GSSAP 4. Nation: USA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Orbital object tracking satellite. Spacecraft Bus: GeoStar-1. Spacecraft: GSSAP. USAF Sat Cat: 41745 . COSPAR: 2016-052B. Apogee: 35,856 km (22,279 mi). Perigee: 35,814 km (22,253 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Placed in geosynchronous orbit at 118 deg W..

2016 December 7 - . 23:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: Cape Canaveral SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(5,4).
  • USA 272 - . Payload: WGS 8 / WGS SV-8. Mass: 6,200 kg (13,600 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 702. USAF Sat Cat: 41879 . COSPAR: 2016-075A. Apogee: 44,207 km (27,468 mi). Perigee: 430 km (260 mi). Inclination: 27.0000 deg.

    8th Boeing 702-class Wideband Global Satcom payload for the US Dept. of Defense carried an improved 'channelizer' that increases the capacity of the satellite. The second stage was reportedly deorbited, and the extra propellant required to do this necessitated a lower apogee transfer orbit than for previous WGS missions. By Dec 25 WGS-8 had reached a 26728 x 44588 km x 0.2 deg orbit.


2017 March 19 - . 00:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. Launch Pad: Cape Canaveral SLC37B. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta 4M+(5,4).
  • USA 275 - . Payload: WGS 9. Mass: 6,200 kg (13,600 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 702. USAF Sat Cat: 42075 . COSPAR: 2017-016A. Apogee: 44,262 km (27,503 mi). Perigee: 430 km (260 mi). Inclination: 27.0000 deg.

    Wideband Global Satcom 9 was to be added to the US DoD communications satellite constellation. This WGS was partly funded by allied countries, although it was still owned and operated by USAF. A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 sent the satellite aloft on Mar 19, first into a 185 x 6097 km x 27.6 deg parking orbit and then to a 430 x 44262 km x 27.0 deg supersynchronous transfer orbit. The Delta 377 second stage was deorbited over the Pacific near the Phillipines with reentry around 1230 UTC.



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