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Delta launches MAP spacecraft
Posted: Sat, Jun 30, 2001, 5:22 PM ET (2122 GMT)
Delta launch of MAP A Delta 2 successfully launched a NASA astronomy spacecraft Saturday afternoon. The Delta 2 lifted off on schedule at 3:46 pm EDT (1946 GMT) June 30 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on the first launch attempt. It placed into a transfer orbit the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP), a spacecraft that will eventually be stationed at the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrange point, 1.5 million kilometers from the Earth. MAP will study the cosmic microwave background, radiation left behind from the Big Bang, at a higher resolution than ever before to enable astronomers to better understand the nature and origin of the universe. The launch is the fourth of the year for the Delta 2 and the second time this year a Delta 2 has launched a NASA mission, after the April launch of the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft.
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