Boeing [NYSE: BA] successfully launched the three-ton Advanced Research and Global Observation Satellite (
ARGOS) for the U.S. Air Force from here today at 2:29 a.m. PST.
Delta II rocket carried two additional
NASA -sponsored satellites - the
Ørsted satellite for Denmark and the SUNSAT micro-satellite for South Africa. They represent the first payloads Boeing has launched for each country.
"This landmark launch carried three distinct payloads for three continents," said Will Hampton, Boeing director of U.S. Air Force Delta Programs. "We are honored to be working with NASA, the U.S. Air Force and the countries of Denmark and South Africa on this important scientific launch," Hampton said.
ARGOS will spend three years in space collecting valuable data on the Earth's global environment performing technology demonstrations for top-priority military space programs.
As the prime contractor, Boeing developed the ARGOS spacecraft, integrated the nine experimental payloads and will provide the Air Force with one year of support in coordinating the phased sequence of its nine on-orbit experiments.
NASA is providing a Global Positioning System (GPS) TurboRogue receiver and satellite laser tracking retroreflector for SUNSAT and a GPS receiver and magnetometer for Ørsted. NASA provided the launch for both SUNSAT and Ørsted on the Delta II and also owns the SLC-2 launch pad at Vandenberg from which the Boeing Delta II 7920 lifted both satellites.
The Ørsted satellite is being delivered to a near sun-synchronous orbit, carrying a space payload that will be used to study the generation of Earth's magnetic and electrical fields.
The SUNSAT micro-satellite will provide remote sensing and amateur radio communication. Built by the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, one of its primary missions includes the training of graduate students.
The Boeing Delta II 7920 is a medium capacity expendable launch vehicle manufactured in Huntington Beach, Calif., with final assembly in Pueblo, Colo. It is powered by the RS-27A engine built by Boeing in Canoga Park, Calif. The Delta launch team at Vandenberg Air Force Base handled launch coordination and operations for the mission.
Delta II ARGOS Media Kit