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29-Mar-00 | Delta flight 277 – IMAGE

NASA’s IMAGE mission (Imager for Magnetopause to Aurora Global Exploration) was launched on schedule from Vandenberg’s SLC-2W on Saturday, 25 March. The Delta launch team had a flawless countdown, obviously having gathered no moss since the last flight from the west coast back in April 1999. The spacecraft was placed into a highly elliptical orbit with perigee of 540 nm and apogee of 24,796 nm. IMAGE, the first of NASA’s MIDEX (Medium-Class Explorer) series, will spend two years observing the response of the Earth’s magnetosphere to changes in the solar wind.


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