Kodiak launch now set for Friday

Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2001

KODIAK (AP) -- A rocket firing at the Kodiak Launch Facility delayed by last week's airline travel restrictions has been rescheduled for Friday, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The mission for the Defense Department and NASA was originally set for Monday, but crucial workers couldn't get to Alaska in time.

The Athena 1 rocket built by Lockheed Martin is expected to carry four satellites into orbit. It would be the first orbital launch from Alaska.

One of the satellites is from NASA. It's a 200-pound spacecraft about three feet in diameter that's covered with aluminum mirrors. Students around the world helped to polish the mirrors, and they're planning to track the satellite and report their findings on a Web site.

Three Defense Department satellites are also set to go into space.

One is a technology demonstration spacecraft built in Great Britain to test vibration isolation and polymer battery characteristics, and for observations of the ionosphere.

A communications satellite built by students at the Naval Academy will be used by amateur radio operators. And a microsatellite built by students from Stanford and Washington universities will test infrared sensors. That satellite also holds a digital camera and a voice synthesizer.

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