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Rainbow Seen In Skies Over Florida

By | July 18, 2003

      CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.–An Atlas V-521 blasted the Rainbow 1 DBS satellite into orbit at 7:45 p.m EDT Thursday in a launch for Cablevision Systems [NYSE: CVC].

      While the launch itself went smoothly, it was delayed because of leakage of helium from the main tank as the countdown neared completion and because of weather concerns. The launch team determined that the leaks were minor and decided to proceed with the launch 25 minutes after the window opened. A bright flash of light illuminated that base of the rocket and smoke billowed from the rocket and engulfed the launch pad, drifting in to the blue sky of a Florida summer evening.

      The satellite was successfully separated from the Centaur stage and deployed into geosynchronous transfer orbit one hour 40 minutes after liftoff. The DBS satellite will be manuevered using onboard boosters into its orbital location at 61.5 degrees W.L. over the coming week using Aerojet‘s thrusters on the satellite. The A2100AX satellite was manufactured by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. It has 36 Ku-band transponders and 22 programmable spot beams. It weighs 9,542 pounds and has an 18.2-year expected life span. The launch was performed by International Launch Services, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] and Russian partners Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center and RSC Energia.

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