ULA Supports NASA’s science and robotic mission with Liftoff of THEMIS on Delta II

A Delta II expendable launch vehicle successfully launched NASA’s Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) spacecraft today marking the first east coast mission conducted by United Launch Alliance (ULA) since its formation Dec. 1, 2006.

The Delta II rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex 17-B at 6:01 p.m., EST. Following a nominal 73-minute flight, the rocket deployed the payload.

“The United Launch Alliance team is proud to support the science and robotic mission of NASA’s space exploration program by successfully completing our first east coast launch,” said Michael C. Gass, president and chief executive officer of ULA. “While it’s the first east coast ULA Delta II mission, it’s the 103rd successful Cape Delta II launch in the program’s proud history since its first flight in 1989. We are committed to providing assured access to space for all our customers and it continues with our next launch, an Atlas V with the DOD’s Space Test Program payload in early March at the Cape.”

The ULA Delta II 7925-10 configuration vehicle featured an ULA first stage booster powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A main engine and nine Alliant Techsystems (ATK) strap-on solid rocket boosters. An Aerojet AJ10-118K engine powered the second stage. A spin-stabilized Star-48B solid-rocket motor built by ATK boosted the third stage. The payload was encased by a 10-foot- diameter composite payload fairing.

“This is the first of a total of 21 launches we have manifested in 2007 consisting of a dozen Delta IIs, six Atlas Vs and three Delta IVs from the east and west coasts,” said Dan Collins, ULA chief operating officer. “As our team proved today, they are up to the task. By focusing on safe practices, customer needs and mission success, I believe 2007 will be a banner inaugural year for ULA.” Formed in 2006, ULA combines the successful Atlas and Delta expendable launch vehicle programs to offer cost-effective and reliable launch services to U.S. government customers, including the Department of Defense, NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office and other organizations. ULA program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo.

Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala. and Harlingen, Tex. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

For more information on the ULA joint venture, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321).