TS News - Delta Launch Delayed

TELE-satellit News, 8 May 1997

Delta Launch Delayed
  HUNTINGDON BEACH, California, 97/05/08 (TS) -- Until this year, the Delta
rocket had an almost flawless record and was the most reliable satellite
launcher in the world. The latter is still true but two problems have hit
the system this year. The first was an explosion on launch in January. It
halted launches until May 5 when the launcher renewed service by putting
five Iridium satellites into space. Now comes news from McDonnell Douglas
that the upcoming May 11 launch of the Thor-II satellite, to provide direct
broadcasting for Europe, has been delayed while engineers study data from
the Iridium launch.

  MDD said, "During the Iridium mission, after the satellites had reached
their planned deployment orbit, the second stage attitude control system
had higher than planned gas consumption. The system uses nitrogen gas to
orient the second stage during the orbital coast periods." This data is
expected from tracking stations this week. The launch has been rescheduled
to May 18 but could launch a day earlier if the Space Shuttle makes a
successful launch on May 15.

(c)TELE-satellit 1997. All rights reserved.

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