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Manufacturer United Launch Alliance
(formerly Boeing and McDonnell Douglas)
Country of origin United States
Used on Delta 4000
Delta 5000
Delta II
General characteristics
Height 5.9 meters (19 ft)[1]
Diameter 2.4 meters (7.9 ft)[1]
Gross mass 6,954 kilograms (15,331 lb)[1]
Propellant mass 6,004 kilograms (13,237 lb)[2]
Engine details
Engines 1 AJ10-118K
Thrust 43.63 kilonewtons (9,810 lbf)[1]
Specific impulse 319 sec[1]
Burn time 431 seconds[1]
Fuel Aerozine 50/N2O4
Spent Delta-K stage, photographed in orbit

The Delta-K is an American rocket stage, developed by McDonnell Douglas and Aerojet. It was first used on August 27, 1989 as the second stage for the Delta 4000 series. It has continued to serve as the second stage for subsequent variants of the Delta rocket. It is propelled by a single AJ10-118K rocket engine, fueled by Aerozine 50 and dinitrogen tetroxide,[1] which are hypergolic.

The Delta-K has a long heritage to the first Able stage used in Project Vanguard. The AJ-10 engine was first used in the Able second stage of the Vanguard rocket, as the AJ10-118 configuration. It was initially fueled by nitric acid and UDMH.[3] An AJ10 engine was first fired in flight during the third Vanguard launch, on 17 March 1958, which successfully placed the Vanguard 1 satellite into orbit.

As of 25 May 2008, 138 have been launched,[4] and excluding one which was destroyed by the explosion of a lower stage, none have failed.[4]

The Delta-K is still in use, currently as the second stage of the Delta II rocket.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Delta K, Encyclopedia Astronautica, date 30 Jan 1997, accessed 2011-02-01.
  2. ^ Delta K Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine., Spaceflight 101, accessed 2014-07-13.
  3. ^ Wade, Mark. "AJ10-118". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 6 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  4. ^ a b c Forsyth, Kevin S. (2007-08-10). "Vehicle Description and Designations". History of the Delta Launch Vehicle. Retrieved 6 June 2013.