Kevin Forsyth, Sunday, 1-15-12 January 15, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: Atlas rocket, Boeing, Delta 2, Delta 2 Logo, Delta IV, Douglas Aircraft Company, Earth imaging satellites., EELV, Falcon 9. , Google Lunar X-Prize, GPS satellites, History of the Delta Launch Vehicle, human rating the Delta rocket, Kevin Forsyth, McDonnell Douglas, polar orbits, rocket fuels, Rocketdyne motors, RS-27 rocket motor, solid rocket boosters, Space X, Thor, Thor-Delta, U.S. Air Force, ULA, Vandenberg AFB launches
Kevin Forsyth, Sunday, 1-15-12
History of the Delta Launch Vehicle
Guest: Kevin Forsyth. Topics: The history of the Delta Launch Vehicle plus related topics. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Kevin Forsyth to the program to discuss the history of the Delta launch vehicle and his corresponding website at www.kevinforsyth.net/delta/ . Follow along with our discussion with the log on Kevin’s site as we addressed many of the Delta flights listed on the log. We started our discussion with Kevin by asking him how he came to have an interest in Delta launch vehicles. From there, we talked about some of the very early Delta rocket launches including the Echo satellite. Of course at the start, the Delta was the Thor Delta and Kevin takes us through the Thor evolution to the Delta 2. Kevin explained many of the Delta modifications and the system used by NASA, DOD, and others to identify the launch vehicle for a given mission. You can see these designations on his log. During the first segment, he received several listener questions asking him why the Delta IV was not part of his website history. As you will hear, Kevin considers the Delta IV to mostly be a different rocket from the Delta family and he talked about it several times during the full program. One of the questions asked Kevin was about keeping the Delta 2 flying. We talked about this during both segments of the program. He was also asked if he thought killing Constellation and the policy change to Obama Space had anything to do with shutting down the Delta 2 line. He said no because the primary user of the Delta 2 had been the Air Force launching GPS satellites. However, the GPS satellites got to be too big for a Delta 2 and when that happened, keeping the line and the infrastructure going was too costly given the number of launches that would likely take place on a Delta 2, especially without the DOD GPS market. As to a private company taking over the Delta 2 line and setting it up as a separate launch company/vehicle, he said he did not think it would happen. See what you think of his explanation.
In our second segment, we talked about many of the better known Delta 2 launches. A listener asked about the stars in the Delta logo and Terry called in to ask about the role of Von Braun in developing the Delta rocket. Here, Kevin talked about the early rocket designers and their role with the Thor and other rockets. Kevin was asked about Delta 2 rockets making it to museums and rocket gardens and then he fielded listener questions about the Delta main engines. Marshall called in about Delta rocket fuels compared to the fuels of other rockets and an email came in from Patty about the SRB strap-on boosters. Tim from Houston asked questions about the Falcon 9 in comparison to the Delta 2 and Randy wanted to know about using the remaining Delta 2 rockets for the Google Lunar X Prize contestants. Toward the end of the program, we talked about Vandenberg launches for Earth imagine satellites in polar orbits. At the end, Kevin and I did a short summary of the roughly 50 years of Delta launch history.
Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above. Kevin has contact information on most pages of his website.