The Boeing
Space and Communications Delta team will help NASA scientists better
predict environmental changes on Earth by launching the Aqua
spacecraft from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on May 4.

At approximately 2:55 a.m. PDT, a Boeing Delta II rocket will
blast off from Space Launch Complex 2 West and thunder into space to
place Aqua into a Sun-synchronous orbit.

“Everyone on the Delta team has dedicated themselves to the time
and effort needed to launch and deploy Aqua,” said Michael Henderson,
Aqua program manager for Boeing Space and Communications, a unit of
The Boeing Co. . “Our success will set the stage for NASA
scientists to embark on a mission that could improve life on Earth.”

Aqua’s instruments will allow scientists to gather data to improve
weather forecasting, enhance evacuation plans, and steer development
away from storm tracks.

To help NASA ensure mission success, the Delta team must
accurately place the Aqua spacecraft into its six-year flight path to
chronologically map the planet’s changes.

“It’s a lot like running a relay,” Henderson said. “The Delta team
is at the starting line, ready to launch and deploy the satellite. And
just like a relay, proper placement of the baton, or in this case the
satellite during the exchange, will help determine the outcome.”

For this mission, Boeing will use a new version of its
10-meter-wide composite fairing, which has a longer cylindrical
section to accommodate larger payloads. It will take the Boeing Delta
II approximately one hour of flight to deploy the NASA spacecraft.

To date, the Delta II has successfully launched more than 190 NASA
missions and maintains a 98 percent success rate. Aqua is managed by
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The spacecraft
was assembled by TRW in Redondo Beach, Calif. NASA’s Jet Propulsion
Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., NASA’s Langley Research Center in
Langley, Va., the National Space Development Agency of Japan, and
Brazil’s Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais contributed to the
project by providing instruments aboard the spacecraft.

Boeing Space and Communications (S&C), with headquarters in Seal
Beach, is the world’s largest space and communications company. A unit
of The Boeing Co., S&C provides integrated solutions in launch
services, human space flight and exploration, missile defense, and
information and communications.

It is NASA’s largest contractor; a leading provider of space-based
communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile
defense; and a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance. The global enterprise has customers worldwide and
manufacturing operations throughout the United States and Australia.

Note to Editors: The Aqua launch will be broadcasted on NASA
Select from 1:30 a.m. PDT until spacecraft separation. The satellite
coordinates are as follows.

  • GE 2, Transponder 9C
  • 85 degrees west longitude
  • Vertical polarization
  • Video frequency 3880 mhz
  • Audio frequency 6.8 mhz