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Delta 4 first launch a success
Posted: Wed, Nov 20, 2002, 7:28 PM ET (0028 GMT)
Delta 4 first launch cose-up image (Boeing) Boeing's Delta 4 launch vehicle successfully carried out its inaugural flight Wednesday evening, placing a European communications satellite into orbit. The Delta 4 Medium-Plus (4,2) lifted off from launch complex 37B at Cape Canaveral, Florida at 5:39 pm EST (2239 GMT), at the beginning of its 70-minute launch window. The booster's payload, the Eutelsat W5 communications satellite, separated from the booster nearly 38 minutes after launch, after the booster placed the spacecraft into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. The countdown to Wednesday's launch was not bedeviled by the technical glitches and weather problems that forced Boeing to scrub the launch; while upper-level winds were a concern earlier in the day, they subsided before launch. The Delta 4 is the vehicle developed by Boeing as part of the Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program; another EELV vehicle, the Atlas 5, was successfully launched three months ago by Lockheed Martin. The Eutelsat W5 spacecraft will be positioned at 70.5 degrees east longitude and provide Ku-band video and data services.
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