Common Booster Core

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For the Atlas V booster, see Common Core Booster.
Common Booster Core
Delta 342 CBC delivery.jpg
Delivery of the CBC used as the first stage of Delta 342, which launched GOES 14
Manufacturer Boeing (1998–2006)
United Launch Alliance (2006—)
Country of origin United States
Used on Delta IV (stage 1)
Delta IV Heavy (boosters)
General Characteristics
Height 40.8 metres (134 ft)
Diameter 5.1 metres (17 ft)
Mass 226,400 kilograms (499,100 lb)
Engine details
Engines One RS-68
Thrust 3,312.76 kilonewtons (744,740 lbf)
Burn time 367 seconds
Fuel LOX/LH2
Delta first stages in front of the Horizontal Integration Facility at SLC-37.

The Common Booster Core (CBC) is an American rocket stage, which is used on the Delta IV rocket as part of a modular rocket system. Delta IV rockets flying in the Medium and Medium+ configurations each use a single Common Booster Core as their first stage, whilst the Heavy configuration uses three; one as the first stage and two as boosters.[1] The Common Booster Core is 40.8 metres (134 ft) long, has a diameter of 5.1 metres (17 ft) and is powered by a single RS-68 engine burning liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.[2]

The first static test firing of a Common Booster Core was conducted on 17 March 2001, and the final test of the initial programme was conducted on 6 May.[3] Testing was conducted using Test Stand B-2 of the John C. Stennis Space Center,[4] a facility originally constructed for testing of the first stages of Saturn V rockets during the 1960s. The first launch of a Common Booster Core was the maiden flight of the Delta IV, which was launched from Space Launch Complex 37B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on 20 November 2002.[5]

The first flight of the Delta IV Heavy, featuring three Common Booster Cores, was conducted on 21 December 2004. On this flight all three CBCs malfunctioned, cutting off prematurely due to cavitation in their oxidiser lines, and resulting in the rocket reaching a lower orbit than that which had been planned. In response to the failure, additional pressure valves were installed on future launches.[6]

As of September 2010, the Delta IV has made thirteen flights; ten in Medium and Medium+ configurations, and three in the Heavy configuration, resulting in a total of nineteen Common Booster Cores being launched.[7]

The CBCs are manufactured in Boeing's 1,500,000-square-foot (140,000 m2) manufacturing facility in Decatur, Alabama and then transported by the M/V Delta Mariner to either Vandenberg Air Force Base or Cape Canaveral Air Force Station where they are integrated with the spacecraft and other components such as strap-on boosters and a Delta Cryogenic Second Stage.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Countdown 101: Delta IV". NASA. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  2. ^ Wade, Mark. "Delta RS-68". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Delta 4 Core Booster Rocket Engine Completes Test Program". Space.com. 9 May 2001. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  4. ^ "Stennis Space Center Tours and Briefings on Boeing Rocketdyne's RS-68 engine for the Delta IV". SpaceRef. 30 October 2002. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  5. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  6. ^ Ray, Justin (10 April 2005). "Fixes ordered across Boeing's Delta 4 rocket line". Delta Launch Report. Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  7. ^ Wade, Mark. "Delta IV". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  8. ^ Boeing: Multimedia - Image Gallery - Delta IV Launch Vehicle Manufacturing - Decatur, Alabama