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Satellite debris delays Atlas 5 launch
Posted: Thu, Feb 28, 2008, 6:37 AM ET (1137 GMT)
Atlas 5 launch of MRO (ILS) An Atlas 5 launch of a classified satellite scheduled for this week has been delayed as a precaution after last week's intercept of another satellite by a missile. The Atlas 5 was scheduled to launch this week from Vandenberg Air Force Base on a mission for the National Reconnaissance Office designated NROL-28. On Wednesday, however, the NRO announced that the launch would be delayed approximately two weeks as a "precautionary measure" to avoid debris remaining after the USA 193 satellite was struck by a modified SM-3 missile on February 20. The intercept left up to 3,000 pieces of debris that are expected to reenter and burn up in the Earth's atmosphere over the next few weeks. The launch will be the first for the Atlas 5 from Vandenberg.
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