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22-Dec-03 | Delta flight 302 – NAVSTAR IIR-10

Early Sunday morning, 21 December, at 08:05 UTC, the seventh and final Delta II launch of 2003 took NAVSTAR IIR-10 into orbit to continue the replenishment of the Global Positioning System. The chilly Florida air was not a constraint for either the rocket or the payload, and the countdown was typically quiet — until an alarm sounded within the T-minus two minute mark. T-zero was pushed to the end of the window, the alarm was found to be a non-issue, and the countdown resumed to a perfect, daylight-bright liftoff. Delta flight 302 deployed SVN-47 into its proper transfer orbit just over 68 minutes later. (By the way, this reporter slept through it all… but Justin Ray was awake.)


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