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Archive for June, 2006

23-Jun-06 | Delta flight 316 – MiTEx

Delta flight 316 successfully orbited an experimental military satellite on Wednesday, 21 June 2006. MiTEx, the Micro-Satellite Technology Experiment, consists of a pair of micro-satellites, each about 500 pounds (total payload weight is classified), to test “advanced space technologies” for DARPA, the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The Delta II 7925-9.5 lifted off at 18:15 EDT {Official range liftoff time unknown—would welcome this information. -ed.} and delivered MiTEx into a geostationary transfer orbit less than 31 minutes later. An upper stage, developed by the Naval Research Laboratory and itself a piece of experimental hardware, will circularise the geostationary orbit within a few days of launch, and the primary mission is expected to last for a year after that.

23-Jun-06 | Next launch

The next Delta II launch will be NASA’s STEREO mission, expected no earlier than 22 July.  STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) is a pair of identical solar-imaging satellites that will be placed in widely separated orbits using a series of lunar swingbys.  This placement will allow, for the first time, stereoscopic (hence the acronym) three-dimensional images of coronal mass ejections.



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