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McDONNELL DOUGLAS LAUNCHES THIRD GPS SATELLITE

 HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- This morning a McDonnell Douglas-built Delta II expendable launch vehicle roared into the Florida sky as it launched a U.S. Air Force NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
 Today's launch was dedicated to the memory of Larry W. Gale of Palos Verdes, Calif. Gale dedicated most of his career at McDonnell Douglas to the Delta program, where he was serving as director of Air Force Delta Programs at the time of his death on April 14, 1993.
 "With this launch, McDonnell Douglas has helped us to achieve initial operating capability. That means we now have complete three- dimensional coverage of the globe," said Maj. Gary Perugini, chief of Public Affairs for the 45th Space Wing.
 "Today we matched our previous record of 43 successful launches in a row," said Rick Arvesen, U.S. Air Force program manager for McDonnell Douglas. "From design to launch, the Delta program relies on a team of dedicated people. We're proud of them and of Delta's performance for the Air Force."
 The launch occurred at 9:27 a.m. EDT from launch complex 17 B.
 A 7925 configuration of the Delta II boosted the U.S. Air Force GPS spacecraft into its transfer orbit. The GPS is a space-based radio navigation system that provides U.S. and allied land, sea and air forces and commercial users with worldwide, three-dimensional position and velocity information.
 Over the past 16 years and 87 launches Delta rockets have maintained a 98.9 percent success record. The overall success rate since the program's inception in 1960 is 94.6 percent.
 This mission also included a secondary payload for NASA. The Plasma Motor Generator (PMG), carried on the Delta second stage, is a tethered satellite. The PMG will provide engineering verification of the operability of an electrodynamic tether in space.
 The Delta launch vehicle is built by McDonnell Douglas Aerospace in Huntington Beach, with final assembly in Pueblo, Colo.
 Several major subcontractors contribute to the Delta: the Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell International in Canoga Park, Calif., is responsible for the first stage main engine; Aerojet Propulsion Division, Sacramento, Calif., builds the second stage engine; Hercules Aerospace, Magna, Utah, manufactures the solid rocket boosters; Delco Systems of Goleta, Calif., produces the guidance computer on the second stage; and Thiokol, Ogden, Utah, provides the Star-48 motor for the Payload Assist Module -- the third stage.
 -0- 6/26/93
 /CONTACT: Sheila Carter-Hart or Evelyn Smith of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, 714-896-1302 or 714-896-1700/


CO: McDonnell Douglas Aerospace ST: California, Florida IN: ARO SU:

LS-JL -- LA001 -- 5985 06/26/93 14:02 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 26, 1993
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