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Pegasus launches ST5
Posted: Wed, Mar 22, 2006, 1:58 PM ET (1858 GMT)
Space Technology 5 illustration (NASA) A Pegasus rocket successfully launched the three microsatellites that comprise NASA's Space Technology 5 (ST5) mission Wednesday morning. The Pegasus XL was dropped from its L-1011 aircraft and ignited its engine at 9:04 am, off the coast from central California. The three ST5 spacecraft were successfully placed into an elliptical orbit ranging in altitude between 300 and 4,500 kilometers about 20 minutes later. The launch was previously scheduled for a week ago but scrubbed at the last minute when a pin that holds a control fin in place on the booster failed to retract on command. The three ST5 microsatellites are designed to test a number of spacecraft technologies while performing measurements of the Earth's magnetosphere.
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