Delta II rocket
Delta II rocket systems were used in a variety of applications.
Delta II have been phased out. The rocket flew its final mission ICESat-2 on 15 September 2018, earning the launch vehicle a streak of 100 successful missions in a row, with the last failure being GPS IIR-1 in 1997. It is a configuration of the original Thor-Delta family of launch vehicles which were based on the Thor ICBM of the 1950's.
During the development of the Space Shuttle program, expendables such as Delta, Atlas and Titan were phased out. The Challenger accident (January 28, 1986), spurred renewed investment in expendable launch vehicles such as the Delta II.
Delta II rockets have successfully launched over 125 missions into Earth orbit including several Mars missions:
- Mars Global Surveyor (1996)
- Mars Pathfinder (1996)
- Mars Climate Orbiter (1998)
- Mars Polar Lander (1999)
- Mars Odyssey (2001)
- Mars Exploration Rovers - Spirit and Opportunity (2003)
- Phoenix (2007)