Boeing Launches Second Italian Earth Observation Satellite
ST. LOUIS, Dec. 08, 2007 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA], through its commercial launch business, today successfully launched the second of four Italian Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation (COSMO) SkyMed spacecraft aboard a Delta II rocket for Thales Alenia Space Italia.
Lift-off occurred at 6:31 p.m. Pacific time from Pad SLC-2W at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. A Delta II 7420-10 configuration launch vehicle procured from United Launch Alliance deployed the COSMO-SkyMed spacecraft to low-Earth orbit approximately 58 minutes after liftoff.
"This successful Delta launch for the COSMO-SkyMed program once again illustrates the healthy partnership Boeing has with Italian industry and with the United Launch Alliance," said Roger Krone, president of Network and Space Systems, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "The work we do with Thales Alenia Space on manned spaceflight systems and satellite missions reaffirms the value of the expertise TAS brings to the global space industry."
Boeing Launch Services launched the first COSMO-SkyMed satellite in June and plans to support the launch of the third satellite in 2008.
"The launch of the second COSMO-SkyMed satellite moves this significant project for Italian science, commerce and security another step closer to completion," said Brewster Shaw, vice president and general manager, Boeing Space Exploration. "Congratulations to the COSMO-SkyMed launch team for another successful mission of the reliable Delta II, providing assured access to space."
Thales Alenia Space Italia developed the COSMO-SkyMed program for the Italian Space Agency and the Italian Ministry of Defence. It is an end-to-end Earth observation dual-use (civil and military) system comprised of four medium-sized satellites and supporting ground stations for orbit control systems and data reception and processing. The system will take imagery of the Earth using an X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar instrument capable of operating in all visibility conditions at the request of institutional and commercial users, including members of the civil and scientific, and defense communities.
Boeing has a time-honored relationship with Thales Alenia Space. The company has provided Delta II tanks since 2001 and built many elements for the International Space Station, including the Multi-purpose Pressurized Logistics Modules, Cupola and Harmony Node 2. Recently, the Harmony Node 2 module was installed on the International Space Station, for which Boeing is the prime contractor.
Boeing Launch Services is a customer-focused organization that combines strategic planning, business development and sales for Delta commercial launch service customers. It is part of the Space Exploration division of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and is based in Huntington Beach, Calif.