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The Nation

May 31, 1987

An Atlas-Centaur rocket and communications satellite identical to those blown up in March after they were struck by lightning will be launched July 24, NASA said. On March 26, space agency technicians destroyed the rocket when it was hit by multiple lightning strikes after lifting off in a heavy thunderstorm. July's will be NASA's last launch of the Alpha-Centaur, which became operational in 1966, although General Dynamics will launch them as a commercial venture from leased space agency facilities.

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