|Delta 2 launches its final GPS satellite
8/17/09 ~ 6:35am
Homepage Launch photos
Just before sunrise August 17, a Delta 2 rocket launches Global Positioning System satellite 2R-21M, the last GPS spacecraft the workhorse rocket will launch as it nears retirement, and the final GPS satellite in this series. Delta 2 has flown 144 times of which 49 of them, starting with the very first Delta 2 in 1989, were GPS satellites: every one of the modern constellation launched to date, in fact (and 49 out of the 108 Delta 2s launched from Florida). This launch also marked the last planned from Pad A at Launch Complex 17; the remaining Delta 2 rockets out of Florida are planned to launch from Pad B, 550 feet to the south. Ironically, Pad 17A saw its first space launch 51 years ago to the day, August 17, 1958, and then its first Delta launch with the world's first communications satellite, Echo 1, back in 1960 aboard the first ever rocket named Delta.
<--- GPS 2R-20M STSS --->