Boeing announced the lead investigator for the Delta III failure here at a press conference early this morning.
Clarence Quan, an aerospace engineer, with more than four decades of experience in program management, design and engineering with Boeing space operations in Huntington Beach, will lead the investigation. Quan will be assisted by Walt Wilson, who manages the U.S. Air Force requirements for production and launch operations for Delta II vehicles.
Delta III, the newest Boeing Expendable Launch Vehicle, was making its inaugural launch. A preliminary review of the flight data showed that the Delta III lifted off yesterday at 9:17 p.m. EDT and flew as expected for the first 55 seconds of flight. Between 55 and 65 seconds the vehicle lost control, and at 75 seconds the U.S. Air Force sent destruct signals to the vehicle. At which time the vehicle had reached approximately 10 miles in altitude and 6 miles downrange.
Immediately following the incident the launch team started collecting all manufacturing, testing and launch-related data.
There were no injuries, or property damage and the incident posed no threat to people in the vicinity.