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Delta 4 Heavy launches missile warning satellite
Posted: Sun, Nov 11, 2007, 7:09 AM ET (1209 GMT)
Delta 4 Heavy before DSP-23 launch (ULA) Making only its second launch, and the the first in nearly three years, a Delta 4 Heavy successfully launched the last in a series of missile warning satellites on Saturday night. The United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 8:50 pm EST Saturday (0150 GMT Sunday). After the upper stage completed a series of three burns, the DSP-23 satellite separated from the vehicle at about 3:10 am EST (0810 GMT) in geosynchronous orbit. DSP-23 is the last in the series of Defense Support Program (DSP) satellites, designed to provide early warning of missile launches around the globe; the DSP program will be replaced by the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) under development. The launch was the first operational mission for the Delta 4 Heavy, the most powerful member of the EELV family with three common core boosters as its first stage. The Delta 4 Heavy carried out a demonstration launch in December 2004, but a booster flaw caused the rocket to place the test payload into a lower-than-planned orbit.
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