Boeing companies Sea Launch and Boeing Space and Communications are establishing a joint sales and marketing company, Boeing Launch Services, to promote commercial launches of the Delta II, III and IV, and Zenit 3SL Sea Launch fleets. The new division will be under the management of the Boeing Expendable Launch Systems subsidiary, led by Gale Schluter.

A separate entity will be formed to market government Delta launches. Schluter says: "It was imperative we moved towards common marketing and sales without changing the way the programmes are run."

The move follows the mutual launch back-up agreement signed earlier this year (Flight International, 1-7 May).

Meanwhile, the Common Booster Core (CBC) first stage of the first flight-version of the Boeing Delta IV, which will make its maiden flight in April 2002, has left the company's Decatur factory in Alabama for Cape Canaveral. The CBC will undergo testing, including a static test firing of its engine. The ATK Thiokol Propulsion rocket nozzle for the Boeing 650,000lb-(2,900kN-) thrust, cryogenic RS-68 first stage engine for the new Delta IV has passed four flight certification tests.


Source: Flight International