The first stage of the Boeing Delta III launch vehicle is erected at launch pad 17B at Cape Canaveral, Florida, in preparation for its maiden flight this year carrying the Hughes-built Galaxy X communications satellite. The Delta III stretched first stage uses a similar Rocketdyne RS-27A main engine as used on the Delta II. First-stage thrust will be augmented by nine Alliant Techsystems solid rocket boosters, with 25% more thrust than those used on the Delta II. The major innovation on the Delta III is a new second stage, using a single Pratt & Whitney RLB10-2 cryogenic engine. The Delta III will be able to place 3,810kg into orbit, compared with the Delta II's 1,870kg.

Source: Flight International