Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that the first launch of the Delta IV rocket remains on schedule for November 16 following satisfactory progress in the resolution of issues related to the RL10B-2 upper-stage engine on the vehicle.
The announcement comes as Boeing successfully completed the mating of the Eutelsat W5 spacecraft to the Delta IV. The integration of the spacecraft with the Delta IV is a major step toward flight readiness status and first launch.
Even as the spacecraft mating was proceeding, the Boeing Delta team continued to review data related to the upper-stage engine.
"The issue involves RL10B-2 engine components that were manufactured this year, but it does not seem to be related to the engine that we have aboard our first-flight vehicle," said Dan Collins, vice president Delta programs. "We're confident that we will show there's no relationship with the current issue and the engine that we're using for this launch."
The first flight Delta IV RL10B-2 engine was manufactured in 1998 and is not related to the same group of engines that were manufactured in 2002 that recently caused concern.
A Delta IV Medium+ (4,2) rocket will carry W5, a commercial telecommunications for Eutelsat S.A. The launch will take place from Space Launch Complex (SLC) 37B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $23 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.
Boeing Delta Web Site