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Delta II blasts-off with Italian Earth observation satellite


COSMO-SkyMed was successfully launched on a Boeing Delta II

NEW YORK (BNS): Italy’s third satellite in the Earth Observation constellation, COSMO-SkyMed, was successfully launched on a Boeing Delta II rocket at 7.28 pm local time from Vandenberg Air Force base in California.

The Italian system Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean Basin Observation or COSMO-SkyMed, which represents the first dual-use constellation for Earth Observation, includes four satellites equipped with synthetic-aperture radars capable of "seeing" day or night and under any weather conditions.

The program is designed to enhance the monitoring and management of our planet for applications including civil protection (management of environmental hazards), defense and security, as well as scientific and commercial applications. The total program cost is approximately one billion euros.

The first two Cosmo satellites were also launched on Delta II vehicles on June 7, 2007 and December 8, 2007.

"ULA is pleased to have successfully launched the third of four critical Earth observation systems in this series for Boeing and Thales Alenia Space," said Jim Sponnick, United Launch Alliance (ULA) vice president, Delta Product Line. "With this 43rd successful commercial launch, the Delta II system continues its record of mission success, which is unparalleled in the US space industry. This achievement is due to the hard work of our professional engineers and technicians along with the tremendous support we receive from our government, industry, and supplier mission partners. We look forward to many more Delta II launches in the years ahead."

Blasting off from Space Launch Complex 2, it marked the fifth successful Delta II vehicle launch procured by The Boeing Company through its commercial launch business.

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