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Taurus launches Taiwanese satellite
Posted: Thu, May 20, 2004, 9:13 PM ET (0113 GMT)
Taurus XL launch of ROCSAT-2 (OSC) A Taurus rocket, making its first flight in over two and a half years, successfully launched a remote sensing satellite for the government of Taiwan Thursday afternoon. The Orbital Sciences Corporation Taurus XL lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1:47 pm EDT (1747 GMT). The ROCSAT-2 satellite separated from the booster 14 minutes later, having entered a Sun-synchronous orbit 735 km in altitude. ROCSAT-2 was built by EADS for Taiwan's National Space Program Office (NSPO); it carries panchromatic and multispectral instruments to observe Taiwan and its surrounding waters, as well as an instrument to monitor lightning in the upper atmosphere. The launch was the seventh overall for the Taurus and the first since a September 2001 launch failure. The launch was also the first of the upgraded Taurus XL vehicle, which uses the first- and second-stage motors from the Pegasus XL booster, also built by Orbital,
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