Encyclopedia Astronautica
Delta 7326-9.5


American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 3 x GEM-40 + 1 x EELT Thor/RS-27A + 1 x Delta K + 1 x Star 37FM with 2.9 m (9.5 foot) diameter fairing)

Status: Active.
Gross mass: 155,000 kg (341,000 lb).
Height: 38.40 m (125.90 ft).
Diameter: 2.44 m (8.00 ft).
Thrust: 2,500.00 kN (562,000 lbf).
Apogee: 400,000 km (240,000 mi).
First Launch: 1998.10.24.
Last Launch: 2001.08.08.
Number: 3 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Deep Space 1 American asteroid probe. One launch, 1998.10.24. Deep Space 1 (DS1) was a primarily a technology demonstration probe powered by an ion engine, although the spacecraft also flew by asteroid and cometary targets. More...
  • SEDSAT American technology satellite. One launch, 1998.10.24. The SEDSAT micro-satellite was built by the Huntsville, Alabama chapter of SEDS (the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space). More...
  • IMAGE American solar satellite. One launch, 2000.03.25. The IMAGE spacecraft imaged remote particle populations in the magnetosphere. More...
  • Genesis American solar satellite. One launch, 2001.08.08. Genesis was part of NASA's Discovery program. Its objective was to fly to the Earth-Sun L1 point and spend two years collecting samples of the solar wind. More...

See also
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Douglas American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Boeing Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach, CA, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • Discovery The Discovery program was begun by NASA in the early 1990s as the planetary counterpart to the Explorer program. More...
  • STS The Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) was conceived originally as a completely reusable system that would provide cheap, routine access to space and replace all American and civilian military launch vehicles. Crippled by technological overreach, political compromise, and budget limitations, it instead ended up costing more than the expendable rockets it was to have replaced. STS sucked the money out of all other NASA projects for half a century. The military abandoned its use after the Challenger shuttle explosion in the 1980's. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC2W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC17A Delta launch complex. Part of a dual launch pad complex built for the Thor ballistic missile program in 1956. Pad 17A supported Thor, Delta, and Delta II launches into the 21st Century. More...

Associated Stages
  • Delta K N2O4/Aerozine-50 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 6,954/950 kg. Thrust 43.63 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 319 seconds. More...
  • Delta Thor XLT-C Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 101,900/5,900 kg. Thrust 1,054.20 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 302 seconds. More...
  • GEM 40 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 13,064/1,361 kg. Thrust 492.93 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 274 seconds. More...
  • Star 37FM Solid rocket stage. 47.90 kN (10,768 lbf) thrust. Mass 1,147 kg (2,529 lb). More...

Delta 7326-9.5 Chronology


1998 October 24 - . 12:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. Launch Pad: SLC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7326-9.5. LV Configuration: Delta 7326-9.5 D261.
  • Deep Space 1 - . Mass: 486 kg (1,071 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: JPL. Class: Asteroids. Type: Asteroid probe. Spacecraft: Deep Space 1. USAF Sat Cat: 25508 . COSPAR: 1998-061A. The primary mission of Deep Space 1 probe was to test new technology for future interplanetary spacecraft, the main experiment being an ion propulsion engine using xenon propellant. It had an initial mass of 486.3 kg, including 81.5 kg of Xenon and 31.1 kg of hydrazine propellants. The Delta 7326 used three Alliant GEM-40 solid strap-on motors, the standard Delta II core vehicle, and a Thiokol Star 37FM solid motor as the third stage. The Delta second stage entered a 185 km parking orbit, then fired again to enter a 174 km x 2744 km x 28.5 degree orbit. The Star 37FM then separated and accelerated to place Deep Space 1 to escape velocity. Deep Space 1 successfully started its ion engine on November 24 after an initial attempt failed after four minutes on November 10. From its initial solar orbit of 0.99 AU x 1.32 AU x 0.4 degree, Deep Space 1 was to fly past the 3 km diameter asteroid 1992 KD at its perihelion of 1.33 AU. The spacecraft then flew past the nucleus of comet 19P/Borrelly at a distance of 2200 km at 2230 GMT on Sep 22 2001. It survived the encounter in good shape, sending back photos of the comet. At the encounter DS1 was in a 1.3 x 1.5 AU x 0 deg (ecliptic) solar orbit; Borrelly's orbit was 1.3 x 5.9 AU.
  • SEDSAT 1 - . Nation: USA. Agency: Boeing. Manufacturer: SEDS. Program: STS. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: SEDSAT. USAF Sat Cat: 25509 . COSPAR: 1998-061B. Apogee: 1,050 km (650 mi). Perigee: 544 km (338 mi). Inclination: 31.4000 deg. Period: 100.80 min. Following separation of the third stage and the primary Deep Space 1 payload, the Delta second stage manoeuvred from its 185 km parking orbit to a 174 km x 2744 km x 28.5 degree orbit. It then released the SEDSAT micro-satellite, built by the Huntsville, Alabama chapter of SEDS (the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space). SEDSAT has two amateur radio transponders and an earth imaging camera.

2000 March 25 - . 20:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7326-9.5. LV Configuration: Delta 7326-9.5 D277.
  • IMAGE - . Mass: 536 kg (1,181 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Class: Earth. Type: Ionosphere satellite. Spacecraft: IMAGE. USAF Sat Cat: 26113 . COSPAR: 2000-017A. Apogee: 45,461 km (28,248 mi). Perigee: 1,408 km (875 mi). Inclination: 89.4260 deg. Period: 854.09 min. Imager for Magnetopause to Aurora Global Exploration was a MIDEX (mid-sized Explorer mission) developed by NASA-Goddard and the SWRI (Southwest Research Institute) of San Antonio, Texas. The spin-stabilised spacecraft carried a set of neutral atom and ultraviolet imagers, and antennae to study radio wavelength emissions from the magnetosphere plasma. The RPI radio plasma imager has four long wire antennae which will be deployed to a span of half a kilometre.

2001 August 8 - . 16:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. Launch Pad: SLC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7326-9.5. LV Configuration: Delta 7326-9.5 D287.
  • Genesis - . Payload: Discovery 5. Mass: 636 kg (1,402 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; JPL. Manufacturer: Martin. Program: Discovery. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Genesis. USAF Sat Cat: 26884 . COSPAR: 2001-034A. Apogee: 1,175,513 km (730,428 mi). Perigee: 213,681 km (132,774 mi). Inclination: 28.0000 deg. Period: 97,345.15 min. Launch delayed from February 10 and July 30. The Genesis probe flew to the Earth-Sun L1 Lagrangian point and spend two years collecting samples of the solar wind. The collected samples were to be physically returned to Earth in a sample return capsule (air-snatch recovery was planned over Utah) and analysed in ground-based laboratories. The first burn of the Delta second stage put Genesis in a 185 x 197 km x 28.5 deg parking orbit at 1624 GMT. At 1712 GMT a second burn raised the orbit to 182 x 3811 km, and at 1713 GMT the third stage fired to put Genesis on its trajectory to L1 with a nominal apogee of around 1.2 million km. By the first week of November 2001 Genesis arrived at the Earth-Sun L1 point. A malfunctioning thermal radiator caused some concern for the health of the sample return capsule's critical battery, which was overheating, but Genesis began collecting solar wind samples on schedule.

    On September 8, 2004, the Genesis space probe became the first spacecraft to return from beyond lunar orbit to the Earth's surface. The Genesis Sample Return Capsule separated from the spacecraft on September 8, 66,000 km above the Earth. The capsule successfully re-entered the atmosphere over Oregon at 11 km/s, but a wiring error resulted in the drogue parachute release mortar failing to fire at 33 km altitude. The capsule crashed to earth at 90 m/s in the Dugway Proving Ground at 40 07 40 N 113 30 29 W. Although the vehicle was smashed, some of the samples could be retrieved.


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