Press Release

Cape’s Delta IV complex readies for first launch

By SpaceRef Editor
October 12, 2001
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By 2nd Lt. Eric Badger, 45th Space Wing Public Affairs

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — The Delta IV space launch vehicle —
one of America’s newest generation of rockets called evolved expendable
launch vehicles — is now a step closer to its first launch.

Dr. James Roche, the secretary of the Air Force, was among several
dignitaries at an Oct. 9 ceremony marking the completion of Space Launch
Complex 37, the launch facility for the Delta IV.

According to Boeing officials, the ceremony marked the completion of the
final element of the new complex — the launch pad itself. SLC-37 will
enable Boeing to prepare a Delta IV launch vehicle in fewer than 30 days
from its arrival from the factory, reducing on-pad time to about 10 days,
significantly reducing costs. The Delta IV team started development in
October 1998 and will culminate with its first launch on May 2002.

Roche saluted the EELV program as a government and industry success story.
He said the new complex enhances America’s access to space and provides
increased operational flexibility.

“The EELV program is about teamwork,” said Roche. “The EELV program’s
success is predicated on thinking differently, not only about rocket
design, but also the manufacturing, transportation, assembling and
launch processes.”

Darleen Druyun, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force
for acquisition and management, echoed Roche’s sentiments about the
government, industry partnership. “Together we’ve brought substantial
and fundamental change to space launch in record time, she said. “It’s
a magnificent accomplishment.”

Roche said his attendance was a signal to terrorists that they won’t
disrupt American lives or operations.

“We will continue doing the business of the country and won’t be
threatened by any group,” he said.

SpaceRef staff editor.