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The Mission




Rocket: Delta 2 (7925)
Payload: Kepler
Date: March 6, 2009
Time: 10:49 p.m. EST
Site: SLC-17B, Cape Canaveral, Florida

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The Delta 2 rocket
FACT SHEET

Delta 7925
An illustration of the Delta 2 rocket and GPS spacecraft. Credit: ULA
 
A United Launch Alliance Delta 2 7925-9.5 will be used to launch the Kepler spacecraft for NASA.

The 7925-9.5 three-stage launch vehicle has five major assemblies: the first stage, including main engine and nine strap-on solid propellant rocket motors; interstage; second stage; third stage and 9.5-foot diameter payload fairing. The Delta 2 is approximately 126 feet tall and eight feet wide.

Manufactured by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, the RS-27A main engine operates on liquid oxygen and RP-1 (kerosene). The RS-27A has a sea-level thrust of 200,000 pounds. Each of the Alliant Techsystems solid strap-on motors has a sea-level thrust of 100,270 pounds. The main engine and six of the nine solid rocket motors burn at liftoff, delivering total thrust of 789,420 pounds.

An Aerojet AJ10-118K engine powers the second stage and burns Aerozine-50 fuel and nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer. Ignited at altitude, the engine has a vacuum-rated thrust of 9,815 pounds.

The third stage is Thiokol's Star 48B solid-propellant stage.

The United Launch Alliance Delta 2 family of expendable launch vehicles was derived from the Delta rockets built and launched since 1960. Delta's origins go back to the Thor intermediate-range ballistic missile, which was developed in the mid-1950s for the U.S. Air Force. The Thor, a single-stage, liquid-fueled rocket, was modified to become the Delta launch vehicle, which later evolved into the Delta 2.

Delta 2 rockets can be configured as two-or three-stage launch vehicles with a varying number of strap-on solid rocket boosters and two sizes of payload fairings, depending on mission requirements.

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