Last Delta II to Live On at Lasting Home at Famous Kennedy Space Center Rocket Garden

The final United
Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket that launched NASA’s ICESat-2 mission stands poised for liftoff from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base,
California on Sept 15, 2018. The same configuration with four strap-on solid
rocket booster will be displayed in the lineup at the famous Rocket Garden at
NASA’s
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.  Credit:
United Launch Alliance

Ken Kremer 
  
SpaceUpClose.com     20 September 2018

CAPE CANAVERAL,
FL – 
Rocket maker United Launch
Alliance (ULA) say the legacy of the venerable Delta II rocket will live on at the
world famous Rocket Garden – having been selected as the permanent home of the
last of the venerable Delta II rockets. 
Leftover components will be assembled and put on display in the “lineup
of historic rockets” for all to gaze at in wonder at NASA’s Kennedy Space
Center Visitor Complex in Florida
.

The ULA announcement came shortly after the last launch of the workhorse Delta II earlier this month carrying NASA’s ICESat-2 on Sept. 15
from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

“Good by Delta II. Our last bird will live at
the
@NASA @ExploreSpaceKSC
Visitor Complex.
#DeltaII,” tweeted
Tory Bruno, ULA
president and CEO.

“Just because we recently watched a Delta II  lift off for the last time doesn’t mean we
have to say goodbye,” Bruno explained in a video released after the last
launch.
“We have one more mighty Delta II rocket. I’m excited to announce that the final Delta II rocket will soon
take its place in the lineup of historic rockets located in the Rocket Garden at
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.”


World famous Rocket
Garden at NASA’s
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida on 60th
anniversary of NASA’s founding Oct. 1 – prior to upcoming addition of last
Delta II to lineup to live on forever, as renovation of the last existing NASA Saturn
1B is a work in progress.
 Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The $1 Billion ICESat-2 probe lifted off atop the venerable United Launch
Alliance (ULA) Delta II’s on its 155th and final launch at 9:02 a.m. EDT Saturday, September 15, 2018. 



“The
Delta II rocket has been a venerable workhorse for NASA and civilian
scientists, the U.S. military, and commercial clients throughout its almost 30
years of service,” said Tory Bruno, ULA president and
CEO, in a statement.



“This program comes to a close with the final
launch of NASA’s ICESat-2, but its legacy will
continue and the Visitor Complex will help us keep the story of the success of
this much-revered rocket in the hearts and minds of the public.”



Bruno went on to say it would be displayed “soon” and “upright”
and in the “7420-10” configuration – the same as for
ICESat-2. 


The
Delta II 7420-10 configuration rocket includes a 10-foot-diameter payload
fairing (PLF) and four strap-on solid rocket boosters and stands 132 feet tall (40 meters tall)


World famous Rocket Garden at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in
Florida.
 Credit:
Kennedy Space Center Visitor
Complex

The
Visitor Complex is of course thrilled.



“We are honored to have the Delta II
join our historic lineup of rockets in our Rocket Garden,” said Therrin
Protze, chief operating officer of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.



“We are excited to welcome the ULA #DeltaII rocket to our Rocket Garden! Welcome Delta II and thank
you
@ULALaunch and @ToryBruno!” tweeted
the visitor center. 



“The maiden Delta II took flight on Valentine’s Day in 1989, successfully delivering
the first operational GPS satellite into space,” noted ULA. 



“Since
that first launch, Delta II rockets have launched 154 successful missions. Its
resume includes several trips to Mars as well as the planet-hunting Kepler, the
twin lunar-orbiting GRAIL spacecraft, 48 GPS satellites and numerous commercial
imaging and communications satellites.”

The Delta family of rockets are storied
in American Space History and truly harkens back to the Dawn of the Space Age
by launching research probes that’s contributed so much to human knowledge and
others like the Global Positioning Satellites (GPS), weather and communications
satellites that benefit virtually every human on Earth every moment of every
day and military satellites that make vital contributions to US National
Defense.



Among the NASA science missions
launched are the famous twin Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity,
Pathfinder, Dawn Asteroid Orbiter, MESSENGER Mercury Orbiter, Mars Phoenix,
Mars Odyssey, Mars Global Surveryor, Deep Impact, Spitzer Space Telescope,
Kepler, NEAR, STEREO, WMAP and many many more. 

Blastoff of United Launch Alliance Delta II
Heavy rocket and twin NASA GRAIL lunar spacecraft on Sept. 10, 2011 from
Space Launch Complex-17 (SLC-17)  at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL at 9:08 a.m. EDT.
View from Press Site 1. Last Delta II launch from the Cape. 
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
The last Delta II launch from Florida took place in Sept 2011
from Space Launch Complex-17 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and delivered
NASA’s twin LADEE lunar probes to the Moon – attended by this author.
Blastoff of United Launch Alliance Delta II
Heavy rocket and twin NASA GRAIL lunar spacecraft on Sept. 10, 2011 from
Space Launch Complex-17 (SLC-17)  at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL at 9:08 a.m. EDT.
View from Press Site 1. Last Delta II launch from the Cape. 
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Space Launch Complex 17 was sadly demolished earlier this year –
as I witnessed and reported –
http://kenkremer.blogspot.com/2018/07/dual-launch-towers-at-cape-canaveral.html


Thus its wonderful to learn that the Delta II will live on
forever at KSCVC !
Last ‘Up
Close’ historic photos taken of Space Launch Complex-17 (SLC-17) on Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station, FL on July 7 ahead of planned demolition of
historic pads 17A and 17B slated for July 12, 2018. First launches from both
pads occurred in 1957. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Explosive demolition of the two launch towers
and gantries comprising historic
Space Launch
Complex-17 (SLC-17) on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.  Historic
pads 17A and 17B were destroyed at 7 a.m. EDT July 12, 2018. First launches
from both pads occurred in 1957. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA,
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman (Orbital ATK) and more space and
mission reports direct from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station, Florida and Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.



Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human
spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com
–www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com



Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the
KSC area.

………….

Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events

Ken Kremer

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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