Saturday, October 29, 2011

"the nation’s newest weather satellite"

A Delta 2 rocket climbed into incredibly clear skies above Vandenberg Air Force Base early Friday, carrying the nation’s newest weather satellite to orbit along with hopes that this won’t be the last launch for the workhorse space booster.

The 12-story-tall rocket built by United Launch Alliance lifted off at 2:48 a.m. from Space Launch Complex-2 for a $1.5 billion mission to ferry NASA’s NPOESS Preparatory Project, or NPP, satellite into space.

“The flight went terrific,” said Tim Dunn, NASA launch director. “We’ve just confirmed spacecraft separation — a lot of celebration in the control room right now — but overall a great performance of the rocket.”

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