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Athena launches from Alaska
Posted: Sat, Sep 29, 2001, 11:57 PM ET (0357 GMT)
Athena 1 lifting off from Kodiak Launch Complex (NASA) An Athena 1 rocket launched a set of satellites for NASA and the Defense Department Saturday evening. The Athena 1 lifted off from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska at 10:40 pm EDT Saturday (0240 GMT Sunday). The launch took place an hour and ten minutes into a three-hour launch window to allow additional time for proton flux levels above the Earth's atmosphere to decay to acceptable levels. The launch had been postponed more than a week because of a variety of issues, including a solar flare, poor terrestrial weather, a faulty ground radar, and transportation delays caused by disruption to commercial air travel in the wake of the terrorist attacks earlier this month. The Athena is carrying the Starshine 3 satellite for NASA and PICOSat, PCSat, and Sapphire, a trio of small satellites sponsored by the Defense Department's Space Test Program.
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