American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 4 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)
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Gross mass: 170,000 kg (370,000 lb).
Height: 39.00 m (127.00 ft).
Diameter: 2.44 m (8.00 ft).
Thrust: 3,020.00 kN (678,920 lbf).
Apogee: 400,000 km (240,000 mi).
First Launch: 1999.02.07.
Number: 1 .
Stardust American comet probe. One launch, 1999.02.07. Stardust was scheduled to encounter comet Wild-2 early in 2004 and collect samples of cometary dust and volatiles while flying through the coma at a distance of 100 km on the sunlit side of the nucleus. More...
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...
Discovery The Discovery program was begun by NASA in the early 1990s as the planetary counterpart to the Explorer
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...
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...
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 7426-9.5 Chronology
1999 February 7 -
21:04 GMT - .
: Cape Canaveral
. Launch Complex
: Cape Canaveral LC17A
. Launch Pad
: SLC17A. LV Family
. Launch Vehicle
: Delta 7426-9.5
. LV Configuration
: Delta 7426-9.5 D266.
- Stardust - .
Payload: Discovery 4. Mass: 370 kg (810 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: JPL. Manufacturer: Martin. Program: Discovery. Class: Comet. Type: Comet probe. Spacecraft: Stardust. USAF Sat Cat: 25618 . COSPAR: 1999-003A. Stardust was to fly within 100 km of comet 81P/Wild-2 in January 2004 and recover cometary material using an aerogel substance. A return capsule would land on a lake bed in Utah in January 2006, returning the material to earth. The launch went as planned. The second stage ignited at 21:08 GMT and its first burn put the vehicle into a 185 km x 185 km x 28 degree parking orbit at 21:14 GMT. The second stage second burn at 21:25 changed the orbit to planned values of 178 km x 7184 km x 28.5 degrees. The Star 37FM solid third stage ignited at 21:29 GMT and placed the spacecraft into a 2 year period solar orbit. The spacecraft separated at 21:31 GMT. Meanwhile, the Delta 266 second stage burned a third time on its own, until its propellants were depleted, entering a final orbit of 294 km x 6818 km x 22.5 degrees. The Stardust probe flew past Earth at a distance of 3706 km at 1115 GMT on January 15, 2001, and flew near the Moon at a distance of 98000 km at around 0200 GMT on January 16. The gravity assist flyby changed Stardust's heliocentric orbit from 0.956 x 2.216 AU x 0.0 deg to 0.983 x 2.285 AU x 3.7 deg.
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