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The Delta-7925, manufactured by McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, consists of three stages. In other words, the Delta rocket is a conglomeration of three smaller rockets stacked on top of each other with the Surveyor spacecraft at the top. Including Surveyor, the Delta weighed 231,325 kilograms (510,000 pounds) at the time of launch and stood nearly 37 meters (121 feet) tall. Most of the rocket's mass resided in the enormous amount of propellant needed to boost Surveyor into space.

An Economy Fare. In the past, Delta rockets have primarily been used by NASA, the Air Force, and commercial organizations to launch small to medium-sized satellites into Earth orbit. The Surveyor mission will represent the first use of the low-cost Delta to send a spacecraft to another planet. By using the Delta, NASA will save nearly $300 million as compared to the Titan launch vehicles used by previous Mars missions.