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(Template # 1a) The Delta IV concept combines the best features of our Delta heritage and current low-cost proven technology trends:
  • New optimized liquid common booster core design enables horizontal vehicle processing
  • Evolved liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen engine
  • 80% of upper-stage hardware and fairings from Delta II, Delta III, and Titan IV
  • High-efficiency horizontal integration of boosters and upper stages
  • Standardized launch facilities with a simple launch pad design
  • World-class automated and streamlined launch process

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Three Flexible Delta IV Configurations

(Template # 1a) All Delta IV configurations share our common booster core (CBC), a new low-cost design that is optimized for high-performance, environmentally compatible liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen fuel. In the Delta tradition of high reliability, the CBC features a single booster engine. The three configurations are; (1) Delta IV-Small-CBC, proven Delta II hypergolic upper stage, optional Delta II third stage, and Delta II 10-ft diameter composite fairing; (2) Delta IV-Medium-CBC, Delta III upper stage, and Delta III 4-m fairing; and (3) Delta IV-Heavy- CBC, 2 strap-on CBCs, Delta III upper stage with extended tanks, Titan IV 200-in. fairing. Common across all is the Delta family suite of fault-tolerant avionics, flight-proven core software, and standardized launch pads, facilities, equipment, and processes.

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Delta IV Family-Lowest Cost to Orbit

(Template # 1b) Our three configurations meet the National Mission Model payload and performance requirements. These vehicles span the mass-to-orbit requirements for government and commercial spacelift, now and into the future. In addition, consistent Delta reliability and launch responsiveness will ensure a continuous and growing commercial market for Delta IV-for sustainable cost savings to the government. Delta IV is sized to accommodate geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) loads greater than any existing launch system, at substantially lower cost. We have matched payload weights to each configuration with appropriate margin for growth resulting in a design that balances performance with cost.

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Low-Cost Liquid Oxygen/Liquid Hydrogen (LO 2 /LH 2 ) Booster Engine: Rocketdyne RS-68

(Template # 1b) Our booster engine is affordability, not performance, driven. We chose LO 2 /LH 2 because of its inherently higher performance over LO 2 /RP (RP is essentially kerosene). Designed to the low end of LO 2 /LH 2 performance, the RS-68 does not rely on any new technology, exotic materials, or tight-tolerance manufacturing processes. The RS-68 uses fewer parts (7% of the Space Shuttle Main Engine), a conventionally fabricated coaxial injector, low-speed single-stage centrifugal turbopumps, a low-pressure chamber design evolved from the J-2, and an available bolt-on nozzle. This is a major factor in our life cycle cost.

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High-Efficiency Horizontal Integration

(Template # 1b) To lower cost and increase flexibility, Delta IV is integrated horizontally in a dedicated facility at each launch site. This facility can support the integration of several Delta IVs simultaneously. We use innovative mobile elevated platform transporters to move vehicle stages around the launch site, and in the integration facility to mate CBCs and upper stages. The transporters save time and personnel costs, and eliminate hazardous crane operations for core vehicle buildup. Horizontal processing of launch vehicles takes less than one-half the time of vertical processing.

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World-Class Launch Processing Innovation

(Template # 1b) Delta leads the world in shortest launch processing time. When Delta IV deploys, we will have reduced our on-pad time by 75% since 1988. This results from our long-term launch experience, off-pad checkout, automated processing software, and horizontal integration approach.

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