Change In Velocity - An Alternate History of the Delta Rockets

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August 26, 1998 - The Delta III rocket, carrying the Galaxy 10 satellite, loses control and explodes 1 minute and 20 seconds after liftoff. It's a tremendous failure for Boeing's brand new launch vehicle, and eventually sets the stage for the project's cancellation. But, what if this didn't happen? What if the Delta III was actually a major success, and how does that affect the next few decades of space exploration? That's what I'll be trying to explore here.


Table of Contents:

Chapter 1

Edited by DylanSemrau

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Chapter One:

August 26, 1998 - The brand new Delta III rocket, carrying the Galaxy 10 satellite, launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The launch is a success, sending the satellite into GTO and demonstrating the new Delta Cryogenic Second Stage, or DCSS. Boeing now has a rather capable launch vehicle. The switch from the upper stage used on the Delta II, to the high performing DCSS, means that the Delta III can send 2x the payload to GTO than it's predecessor. By this point Boeing had 18 planned launches for the new vehicle, 11 with Hughes Space and Communications International. 



February 15, 1999 - Delta III successfully carries it's second payload, the Orion 3 Spacecraft, to GTO. After this mission, Boeing secures multiple launches with commercial entities. Due to it's capabilities in high energy orbits, and the success of the Delta II, NASA also begins to consider using the new launch vehicle for some of it's upcoming interplanetary missions in the early 2000's. 


By late 1999 Boeing had secured more than 20 payloads for the Delta III, and was attempting to grab government payloads for the vehicle. At the same time Boeing was awarded the EELV contract to develop the Delta IV family, which would utilize the same upper stages as the Delta II and Delta III.

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Interesting idea for an alternate history series. I like it so far, can't wait to see where this goes! :)

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Well I’m glad you guys seem to be enjoying it so far :)

I was hoping to post Chapter 2 before Thanksgiving, however my computer’s charger is currently borked so I won’t be able to do that til early December. In the mean time I’ll be trying to get a rough idea of how I want this to go, and will be doing a bit of research along the way. Stay tuned!

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