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GLAST in orbit

June 11, 2008 - 1:30 p.m. EDT

At 12:05 p.m. EDT, the Delta II rocket easily lifted the GLAST “Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope” spacecraft off the launch pad, out of smoke and clouds and into a beautiful Florida sky headed for space.

The second firing of the second-stage engine was confirmed as was successful spacecraft separation. Applause rippled through the launch control center as separation confirmation was received.

GLAST is now on its own with its solar arrays deployed and placed into a circular orbit 350 miles above the Earth, prepared to monitor the universe and the mysterious gamma-ray bursts.

The GLAST spacecraft and Delta II rocket leap off the launch pad