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Defense Launches Satellite Rocket

June 7, 2000

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) _ A Defense Department satellite carrying several space experiments was lofted into orbit early Wednesday.

The Pegasus rocket carrying the $85 million satellite was dropped from the belly of an L-1011 jetliner at 40,000 feet about 100 miles west of Monterey. Seconds later, the rocket’s first stage fired for the 14-minute ride into orbit.

``Everything went well,″ said Staff Sgt. Rebecca Bonilla, spokeswoman at Vandenberg Air Force Base, where the jumbo jet dubbed Stargazer took off about an hour before launch.

Among other goals during the six-month mission, planners hope to detect low-flying and slow-moving aircraft from space.

Also, a scanner will measure potentially harmful radiation around the satellite.

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On the Net: Vandenberg Air Force Base: http://www.vafb.af.mil/

Mission Page: http://www.te.plk.af.mil/TSX5Home/TSX5.cfm

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