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McDONNELL DOUGLAS SPACE SYSTEMS TO LAUNCH NASA'S GEOTAIL SPACECRAFT JULY 24

 McDONNELL DOUGLAS SPACE SYSTEMS TO LAUNCH
 NASA'S GEOTAIL SPACECRAFT JULY 24
 HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- McDonnell Douglas Space Systems Co. will launch NASA's Geotail spacecraft July 24 at 10:26 a.m. EDT on a Delta II 6925 from pad 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The launch window will remain open for five minutes.
 The Geotail mission is part of the International Solar Terrestrial Physics Project at the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., and is a joint effort between the Japanese Institute for Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) and NASA. Information gathered during the Geotail mission will allow scientists to model and better understand the effects of solar activity on the earth's geomagnetic environment. Geotail will be the first spacecraft to make extensive measurements of magnetospheric physic processes in the earth's geomagnetic tail.
 NEC of Japan supported ISAS's development of the Geotail spacecraft. The spacecraft will weigh 2,223 pounds at launch. The diameter of the spacecraft is 7.2 feet with a height of 5.2 feet. The design life of Geotail is approximately four years.
 In addition to the Geotail spacecraft, the Delta will carry a piggy-back payload for the University of California, Berkeley. The Diffuse Ultraviolet Experiment (DUVE) spacecraft will be attached to the second stage, and following Geotail's separation from the third stage, will perform ultraviolet spectroscopy observations to increase the understanding of the dynamics and evolution of the interstellar medium and the galaxy.
 The Delta flight path is on a launch azimuth of 94.87 degrees with an inclination of 28.7 degrees. The second stage willime from launch until spacecraft separation is approximately 20 minutes.
 Orbit parameters for a July 24th launch include an apogee altitude varying between 162,880 and 269,186 nautical miles and perigee altitude of 100 nautical miles.
 "Geotail will be the first satellite to be launched by McDonnell Douglas under the NASA Medium Expendable Launch Vehicle Services contract signed in November 1990," said Jerry Winchell, program manager of NASA programs for the Delta Launch Vehicle Division. "NASA and McDonnell Douglas have cooperated in launching scientific missions since 1960. We are happy to continue this successful relationship."
 Patterned after commercial contracts, the MELVS agreement includes four scientific missions, launch pad modifications at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and pre-priced options for 11 additional launches. The scheduled launches under the NASA contract include Wind, Polar and Radarsat set for August 1993, May 1994 and December 1994, respectively.
 This launch will be the 212th for the McDonnell Douglas Delta expendable launch vehicle. During the past 15 years, the Delta launch vehicle has achieved a 98.7 percent success record with 76 successful launches out of 77 attempts. Over the past six years, Delta has had 33 consecutive successful launches.
 -0- 7/9/92
 /CONTACT: Anne C. McCauley or Sheila M. Carter-Hart of McDonnell Douglas Space Systems Company, 714-896-1300/
 (MD) CO: McDonnell Douglas Space Systems ST: California IN: ARO SU:


CH -- LA017 -- 8013 07/09/92 16:42 EDT
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Date:Jul 9, 1992
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