Rocket Launch in Va. Seen in N.J.
ATLANTIC, Va. (AP) - December 16, 2006 -- A rocket carrying two experimental satellites blazed across New Jersey early this morning, prompting a few anxious calls to authorities.
A few early rising New Jerseyans called state police to report seeing a missile fly over the Garden State Parkway.
What they really saw was the result of the first-ever rocket launch from the mid-Atlantic region's commercial spaceport in Atlantic, Virginia.
The Minotaur One rocket's main payload is a satellite that will test the military's ability to quickly transmit images of enemy targets to battlefield commanders. A second satellite belongs to N-A-S-A and carries an experiment to test the long-term effects of space on living organisms.
Teams had spent the week resolving a software glitch that had scrubbed a liftoff on Monday.
The state-owned Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority built the commercial launch pad in 1998 to try to help bring jobs to the economically depressed Eastern Shore region.
Maryland later joined the venture.
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