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23-Feb-99 | Delta flight 267 – Argos P-91

Finally! After months of delays due to spacecraft hardware problems, and weeks due to vehicle hardware and the weather, Argos P-91, the largest experimental satellite ever flown by the Air Force, launched from Vandenberg AFB at 02:29 PST on 23 February.

Two hitchhiker payloads, ├śrsted from Denmark and Sunsat from South Africa, were also successfully deployed. Argos is carrying an array of 9 high technology experiments to demonstrate next-generation satellite technology.

Delta 267, thanks to the numerous delays in the development of Argos, spent at least one year (possibly close to two) in storage at Vandenberg, yet it needed only to be dusted off to be ready to fly. That, and the fact that the Aerojet second stage spent over a month loaded with highly corrosive hypergolic propellants without leaking, are testaments to the robustness of the Delta design. This flight set a record for Delta II launch attempts, 11, though most of the scrubs were not caused by the vehicle:

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