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History of the Delta Launch Vehicle

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03-Sep-03 | First SIRTF image released

Though the start of its science mission is still several weeks away, SIRTF has returned its first “aliveness test” image, available here. The image is fuzzy because the optics are not yet properly chilled down. Meanwhile, it appears that the upper stage of Delta 300, which propelled SIRTF into space, has become the first Delta second stage to enter heliocentric orbit — previous solar orbit flights have all used a third stage solid motor. (JSR 508, 2-Sep-03)

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