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NASA Delays Launch of Satellites

April 22, 2006

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) _ The launch of a rocket carrying a pair of NASA satellites was delayed until Saturday because of a communications problem.

The rocket carrying the CloudSat and Calipso satellites was set to launch shortly after 3 a.m. aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket, but NASA officials scrubbed the mission 48 seconds before launch.

Communications between Calipso and links in France were lost. Communications were later established but the launch was rescheduled for just after 3 a.m. Saturday.

``Both the primary and backup were lost simultaneously,″ said NASA spokesman Bruce Buckingham.

The satellites are expected to give a unique view of how clouds form and how they affect weather and climate. They will join three other satellites already surveying the Earth’s atmosphere.

CloudSat and Calipso were to have launched last year, but technical problems and a strike by Boeing workers kept them grounded.

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On the Net:

CloudSat mission: http://www.nasa.gov/cloudsat

Calipso mission: http://www.nasa.gov/calipso

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