NASA has
awarded a contract to The Boeing Company for its family of
Delta rockets to launch the next generation of scientific and
technology development payloads into orbit or into deep space.

With the NASA Launch Services contract (NLS), NASA has selected
Boeing Delta II expendable launch vehicles for three firm missions
and five options. Additionally, Boeing was awarded an Indefinite
Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract. IDIQ launches at a
future date are included in the 10-year launch services contract for
Delta IV, Delta III and Delta II launch vehicles. The potential value
of the 10-year contract could be up to $5 billion.

The first launch under the new contract will be EOS CHEM aboard
a Delta II in 2002. Other missions will include Deep Impact and
MESSENGER in 2004.

“Boeing is proud to continue a 40-year tradition as a launch
provider for NASA,” said Gale Schluter, vice president-general manager
of Boeing Expendable Launch Systems. “It affirms NASA’s confidence in
the Delta family of launch vehicles, both past and well into the

The Delta II has become a workhorse for the space science
community, military and commercial customers. Delta II rockets have
placed into orbit a wide variety of astronomical observatories, space
physics satellites and planetary spacecraft. The versatile Delta II
has payload capabilities ranging from 2,100-4,550 pounds into
geosynchronous transfer orbit.

Delta III, featuring a larger fairing to house bigger payloads and
a new cryogenically propelled upper stage, uses existing components
and infrastructure similar to that used with the Delta II launch
vehicle, but can boost twice the payload into orbit.

The Boeing Delta IV family includes five launch vehicle variants
using common booster cores with payload capabilities ranging from
9,200-29,000 pounds into geosynchronous transfer orbit.

Since 1961, Delta rockets have flown 82 missions for NASA and
have earned a better than 98 percent success rate. Last year, Boeing
received NASA’s Public Service Group Achievement Award for critical
Mars missions including Mars Pathfinder, Mars Orbiter and Deep
Space 1, all of which were launched aboard Delta II rockets.

In the spring of 2000 the Boeing Delta launch team was awarded the
George M. Low award, NASA’s most prestigious honor for quality.

Over the years, Delta has launched a host of scientific and
technology development payloads, including Cosmic Background Explorer,
X-Ray Timing Explorer, Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous, Stardust and
most recently, Infrared Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Explorer.