A Boeing Delta III rocket apparently placed a telecommunications satellite into a lower-than-expected orbit this evening. Telemetry data is being gathered to assess the situation. The problem appears to be related to the second stage's second burn. This was the second flight of the Delta III.
The rocket was carrying the Orion 3 telecommunications satellite into space for Hughes Space and Communications and their customer Loral Space & Communications. The rocket lifted off the pad at 9 p.m. EDT, and was scheduled to release the Hughes-built spacecraft into orbit less than 37 minutes later.
Boeing will continue to release information on tonight's launch, as it becomes available. Boeing will host a media conference at the Cocoa Beach Doubletree Hotel later this evening; a media call-in line will be provided.
For the latest information on tonight's launch or the pending media conference, please call the Boeing Launch Hotline at (714) 896-4770.
Visit our Delta home page at: (www.boeing.com/delta).