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Launch of AIM Aboard a Pegasus XL Rocket
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Launch of AIM Aboard a Pegasus XL Rocket

December 12, 2012
After a flawless countdown and flight, NASA's AIM spacecraft began its two-year mission to study Earth's highest clouds. The 430-pound satellite's ride into orbit was provided by a Pegasus XL rocket. Built by Orbital Sciences, the Pegasus is a unique vehicle that begins its flight secured to the underbelly of a modified L-1011 passenger jet known as "Stargazer." Once the L-1011 reached an altitude of 39,000 feet, the Pegasus was released for its 10-minute powered flight into space.


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