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NASA selects Delta 2, Falcon 9 for satellite launches
Posted: Thu, Jul 19, 2012, 6:42 AM ET (1042 GMT)
Delta 2 launch of WorldView 2 (ULA) NASA awarded launch contracts this week for four future missions, providing new life to one venerable launch vehicle and opening a new line of business for an emerging launcher. NASA awarded contracts to United Launch Alliance for the launches of the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2), and Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) spacecraft on Delta 2 rockets in October 2014, July 2014, and November 2016, respectively. The contracts revive the Delta 2, which appeared to have performed its final mission for NASA late last year although several Delta 2 rockets remained in ULA's inventory. Separately, NASA awarded SpaceX a contract for the launch of the Jason-3 satellite on a Falcon 9 rocket in December 2014. This contract is the first for SpaceX for a NASA spacecraft, although the company has already has contracts to fly Dragon spacecraft carrying cargo to the ISS for NASA.
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