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Atlas launches communications satellite
Posted: Thu, May 20, 2004, 7:33 AM ET (1133 GMT)
Atlas 2AS launch of Hispasat 1D An Atlas 2AS launched a communications satellite Wednesday night on the penultimate launch of the venerable launch vehicle. The Atlas 2AS lifted off from pad 36B at Cape Canaveral at 6:22 pm EDT (2222 GMT), 30 minutes later than planned to allow engineers time to review data from a guidance computer on the booster. The rocket's payload, the AMC-11 satellite, separated from the vehicle's upper stage 28 minutes after liftoff, after entering a geosynchronous transfer orbit. The satellite, a Lockheed Martin A2100-series spacecraft, will be eventually stationed at 131 degrees west. The spacecraft will be used by SES Americom to relay television programming for a variety of cable networks. The launch is the next to last for the Atlas 2 family, with the final launch of the booster, carrying a military payload, planned for early July.
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