The newly formed United Launch Alliance launched a Delta II rocket June 7, boosting the Italian-built COSMO-SkyMed payload into orbit from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. The company says that this is the first time a ULA Delta II launch vehicle has been used for a commercial satellite. This Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation, or COSMO-1, is the first of four COSMO-SkyMeds scheduled for launch. COSMO-2 will launch either later this year or early 2008.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.