Delta II

Delta II was an expendable launch system, originally designed and built by McDonnell Douglas. Delta II was part of the Delta rocket family and entered service in 1989. Delta II vehicles included the Delta 6000, and the two later Delta 7000 variants ("Light" and "Heavy"). The rocket flew its final mission ICESat-2 on 15 September 2018, earning the launch vehicle a streak of 100 successful missions in a row, with the last failure being GPS IIR-1 in 1997.[5]

Delta II
A Delta II rocket launches from Cape Canaveral carrying the Dawn spacecraft.
FunctionLaunch vehicle
ManufacturerUnited Launch Alliance
Country of originUnited States
Cost per launchUS$51 million in 1987 (7920-10 model) [1] US$137 million in 2018 before retirement [2]
Height38.9 m (128 ft)[3]
Diameter2.44 m (8 ft 0 in)
Mass152,000–286,000 kg (335,000–631,000 lb)[3]
Payload to low Earth orbit
Mass2,800–6,140 kg (6,170–13,540 lb)[3]
Payload to geostationary transfer orbit
Mass1,140–2,190 kg (2,510–4,830 lb)[3]
Payload to heliocentric orbit
Mass806–1,519 kg (1,777–3,349 lb)[3]
Launch history
Launch sitesCape Canaveral, SLC-17
Vandenberg Air Force Base, SLC-2W
Total launches155
Delta 6000: 17
Delta 7000: 132
Delta 7000H: 6
Delta 6000: 17
Delta 7000: 130
Delta 7000H: 6
Failure(s)1 (Delta 7000)
Partial failure(s)1 (Delta 7000)
First flight
Last flight
  • Delta 6000: 24 July 1992 (Geotail)
  • Delta 7000: 15 September 2018 (ICESat-2)
  • Delta 7000H: 10 September 2011 (GRAIL)
Boosters (6000 Series) – Castor 4A
No. boosters9
Powered bySolid
Maximum thrust478 kN (107,000 lbf)
Specific impulse266 s (2.61 km/s)
Burn time56 seconds
Boosters (7000 Series) – GEM 40
No. boosters3, 4, or 9
Powered bySolid
Maximum thrust492.9 kN (110,800 lbf)
Specific impulse274 s (2.69 km/s)
Burn time64 seconds
Boosters (7000 Heavy) – GEM 46
No. boosters9
Powered bySolid
Maximum thrust628.3 kN (141,200 lbf)
Specific impulse278 s (2.73 km/s)
Burn time76 seconds or 178.03 seconds after lift off
First stage – Thor/Delta XLT(-C)
Powered by1 RS-27 (6000 series) or RS-27A (7000 series) [4]
Maximum thrust1,054 kN (237,000 lbf)
Specific impulse302 s (2.96 km/s)
Burn time260.5 seconds
PropellantRP-1 / LOX
Second stage – Delta K
Powered by1 AJ10-118K
Maximum thrust43.6 kN (9,800 lbf)
Specific impulse319 s (3.13 km/s)
Burn time431 seconds
PropellantN2O4 / Aerozine 50
Third stage – PAM-D (optional)
Powered byStar 48B
Maximum thrust66 kN (15,000 lbf)
Specific impulse286 s (2.80 km/s)
Burn time87 seconds

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