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United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches 75th Consecutive Delta II on U.S. Air Force 60th Anniversary

Delta II WorldView1 Mission Booklet

Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., (Sept. 18, 2007)
 - For the 75th consecutive time, a Delta II rocket successfully delivered a satellite to orbit during a launch taking place on the U.S. Air Force's 60th anniversary. Digital Globe's WorldView commercial satellite was launched at 11:35 a.m. PDT from Space Launch Complex-2, by a combined United Launch Alliance, Boeing Launch Services and Air Force team.

The Delta II success streak dates back more than 10 years to May 5, 1997, when the Motorola Satellite-1A mission blasted off from SLC-2. This streak also includes missions launched from SLC-17 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The U.S. Air Force was created on Sept. 18, 1947.

"This is an incredible achievement by the Delta launch team and we are extremely proud of our record of providing reliable, cost effective assured access to space for our customers," said Michael Gass, ULA president and chief executive officer. "It is a fitting tribute to our men and women in uniform that this launch occurred on the U.S. Air Force's 60th anniversary. ULA is proud to work with the Air Force and we honor their sacrifices in service of our nation."

Some of the world's most prominent space missions of the last 10 years were launched during the streak. These include the NASA Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity in 2003 and most recently the Phoenix Mars Lander Aug. 4, from Florida, which arrives at the red planet in 2008. Many other satellites dedicated to studying planets, asteroids, comets, weather and earth science along with those designed for national defense were launched on a Delta II since 1997.

For WorldView, the ULA Delta II 7920-10 configuration vehicle featured a first stage booster powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A main engine and nine Alliant Techsystems (ATK) strap-on solid rocket motors. An Aerojet AJ10-118K engine powered the second stage. The payload was encased by a 10-foot-diameter payload fairing.

ULA began processing the Delta II launch vehicle in Decatur, Ala., two years ago. In late March, the first stage arrived from Decatur, followed by the second stage on June 23. The vehicle was erected on the stand at SLC 2, June 25, with solid rocket motor installation completed by July 6. Hundreds of ULA technicians, engineers and managers worked to prepare the vehicle for the WorldView mission.

ULA's next launch, currently scheduled for Sept. 26, is the Dawn satellite for NASA aboard a Delta II Heavy from Space Launch Complex 17B at CCAFS.

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, Tex. 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 ULA, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321). Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch and twitter.com/ulalaunch