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Titan 2 launches DMSP

Posted: December 15, 1999

A U.S. Air Force Titan 2 rocket successfully placed the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F15 spacecraft into orbit on December 12.

Up goes the rocket
Workers erect the Titan 2 rocket's first stage at Vandenberg Air Force Base's Space Launch Complex-4 West. The Titan 2 is a refurbished ICBM missile that was once tipped with a nuclear warhead.
First stage
Completing the booster
The Titan 2 rocket's second stage is hoisted atop the first stage at SLC-4W. Titan 2 is a two-stage liquid fueled vehicle designed to launch small-to-medium government payloads.
Second stage
The first stage engines were ignited as the countdown ticked to zero. After a three-second checkout period, the rocket would begin its journey to space.
Away we go
The 115-foot tall Titan 2 rocket leaves its launch pad and Earth behind to begin a six-minute mission. The rocket was the ninth of 14 decommissioned Titan 2 ICBMs to be converted for space launches.
Shooting the poles
Titan 2 placed the DMSP F15 weather satellite into a polar orbit around Earth, allowing the craft to see most of the planet. The rocket headed south from Vandenberg AFB during the launch.
Flight data file
Vehicle: Titan 2
Payload: DMSP 5D-3-F15
Launch date: Dec. 12, 1999
Launch window: 1738-1748 GMT (1238-1248 EST)
Launch site: SLC-4W, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

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