DULLES, Va., 17 April 2008.Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Pegasus space launch vehicle launched the U.S. Air Force's Communications/Navigation Outage Forecasting System (C/NOFS) satellite into its intended low-Earth orbit.
The Pegasus/C/NOFS mission originated from the Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein, Marshall Islands in the mid-Pacific Ocean.
Following a one-hour long preplanned positioning flight, the Pegasus rocket was released from Orbital's L-1011 carrier aircraft.
The C/NOFS satellite, which weighed approximately 870 lbs. (395 kg.) at launch, was accurately deployed into its targeted elliptical orbit of 205 x 385 nautical miles (400 x 850 km.) after an 8-minute powered flight sequence. Due to its launch from the near-equatorial Reagan Test Site, the satellite's orbit is at a low inclination of 13 degrees to the equator.
The C/NOFS satellite is a joint project of the U.S. Air Force's Space and Missile Center's Space Development and Test Wing and the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate, both of which are based at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M. General Dynamics designed and built the satellite and Orbital provided the launch services.