Sunday, January 18, 2009

955p 1/17 Update: Delta 4 launched on NRO mission

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CBS NEWS Coverage of Breaking Space News
Posted: 9:55 PM, 1/17/09

By William Harwood
CBS News Space Consultant

Changes and additions:

01/09/09 (11:57 AM): Griffin awaits word from Obama administration
01/13/09 (09:40 PM): Space.com reports Gration to replace Griffin as NASA administrator
01/17/09 (09:55 PM): Delta 4 blasts off on classified mission

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9:55 PM, 1/17/09, Update: Delta 4 blasts off on classified military mission

A heavy-lift Delta 4 rocket carrying a classified National Reconnaissance Office payload blasted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station this evening, lighting up the night sky for dozens of miles around as it arced away to the East over the Atlantic Ocean.

Delayed twice earlier in the week by technical problems and bad weather, the 235-foot-tall three-core United Launch Alliance rocket roared to life at 9:47 p.m. - two hours and 14 minutes behind schedule because of unspecified problems - and majestically lumbered away from launch complex 37. It was the third launch of a Delta 4 "heavy" since 2004 and the first in 14 months.

Because the payload was classified, United Launch Alliance ended open commentary and provided no details on the climb to space following nose cone fairing jettison seven minutes or so after liftoff. The climb-out appeared normal, but without commentary the ultimate success of the mission could not be assessed.

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Quick-Launch Web Links:

CBS News STS-119 Status Reports:
http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/current.html

CBS News STS-119 Quick-Look Page:
http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/currentglance.html

NASA ISS Expeditions Page:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/index.html

NASA Shuttle Web: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/shuttle/index.html
NASA Station Web: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/station/index.html
Spaceflight Now: http://spaceflightnow.com/index.html
GoogleSatTrack: http://www.lizard-tail.com/isana/tracking/

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