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Minotaur launches NRO satellite
Posted: Sun, Feb 6, 2011, 8:10 PM ET (0110 GMT)
Minotaur 1 launch of NROL-66 (USAF) A Minotaur rocket successfully launched a classified experimental satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) early Sunday. The Minotaur 1 lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 7:26 am EST (1226 GMT) on a mission designated NROL-66. The mission, the first for the NRO to use a Minotaur rocket, carried what's believed to be a technology demonstration satellite. The NRO released no details about the mission, including the orbit the Minotaur placed the spacecraft in, beyond the fact that it's part of the agency's Rapid Pathfinder Program to quick develop and demonstrate new technologies. The launch had been planned for Saturday but was postponed by a power issue with range safety equipment.
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