Boeing Delta 2 launches NASA's Stardust spacecraft
Boeing News Release
February 7, 1999
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR STATION, Fla. - A Boeing [NYSE: BA] Delta 2
rocket lifted off the pad today at 4:04 p.m. EST, carrying
NASA's STARDUST spacecraft on the first phase of a seven-year
round-trip mission to the stars and back.
The event marked the 78th Delta launch of a scientific
technology payload since 1961, and the fourth NASA-sponsored
payload Boeing has launched in the last five months.
Now that the STARDUST spacecraft has been successfully
deployed, scientists will continue to monitor progress on its
mission objective: To collect cometary dust from the comet
known as Wild 2 and interstellar dust for return to Earth.
Additionally, photographs and dust analysis will be performed
during the spacecraft fly-by of comet Wild 2.
Upon mission completion, it will mark the first NASA mission to
collect extraterrestrial material from outside the orbit of the
"In the last five months we've been a part of NASA missions to
Mars, to the edge of the universe, and points in between," said
Darryl Van Dorn, Boeing director of commercial and NASA Delta
programs. "These programs represent such an exciting time for
space exploration, and we're proud that they are beginning
their missions atop a Delta rocket."
The STARDUST spacecraft was launched aboard a Delta 2, a medium
capacity expendable launch vehicle derived from the Delta
family of rockets built and launched since 1960. The Delta 2
rocket is manufactured in Huntington Beach, Calif., with final
assembly in Pueblo, Colo., and is powered by the RS-27A engine
built by Boeing in Canoga Park, Calif. Launch coordination and
operations for the NASA mission was provided by the Delta
launch team at Cape Canaveral Air Station.
Alliant Techsystems, Magna, Utah, builds the graphite epoxy
motors for boost assist. Aerojet, Sacramento, Calif.,
manufactures the second-stage engine, Cordant Technologies,
Elkton, Md., supplies the upper-stage engine, and AlliedSignal,
Teterboro, N.J., builds the guidance and flight control system.