|Air Force Launches Atlas Carrying Reconnaissance Satellite |
Air Force Launches Atlas Carrying Reconnaissance Satellite
By Ken Warren, 45th Space Wing Public Affairs.
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. -- December 7, 2000 -- (AFPN) -- The U.S. Air Force successfully launched an Atlas 2AS rocket Dec. 5 at 9:47 p.m. EST. The payload it lofted into space is a satellite designed, built and operated by the National Reconnaissance Office.
Spacecraft separation occurred flawlessly about 30 minutes after liftoff.
The launch team comprised representatives from agencies including the 45th Space Wing here; the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.; the NRO, Chantilly, Va.; Lockheed Martin, Denver, Colo.; and International Launch Services, McLean, Va. The 3rd Space Launch Squadron oversees Atlas launch operations at the Cape for the 45th Space Wing.
This mission was dedicated to Dan Potter, a deceased CIA employee who worked at the NRO. Potter was a volunteer in the Partners in Education Program at Cub Run Elementary School, Centreville, Va. To commemorate Potter's dedicated work as a mentor at the school, students submitted more than 700 entries for a mission logo design, using the Great Bear, Ursa Major, as their theme. The winning submission, by 13-year-old Samantha Wingo, was depicted on the Atlas rocket's payload fairing for this mission.
The NRO brought Wingo and her father to tour the Cape and see the launch.
"This was my first launch," Wingo said. "The things I've gotten to see are so cool. I really feel honored by all of this. I didn't know much about space, but just being here I've learned a lot." (Courtesy of Air Force Space Command News Service)
- Air Force Space Command
- Patrick Air Force Base