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Military Satellite Heads for Orbit

January 16, 2002|Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The Air Force launched a rocket Tuesday night carrying a military satellite designed to increase the speed of secure communications between commanders and ships, submarines, aircraft and ground forces.

The Titan IV-B--America's largest, most powerful unmanned rocket--propelled the 10,000-pound Milstar satellite toward orbit. The Greyhound bus-size satellite will circle 22,300 miles above Earth.

Christine Anderson, director of military satellite communications at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, said the new $800-million Milstar II can transmit data more quickly than earlier models. A photograph that once might have taken 20 hours to transmit soon will take as little as two minutes, she said.

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