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January 31, 2013
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, CALIF. -- NASA's latest Earth observing satellite, Aqua, successfully launches aboard a Delta II rocket at 2:55 a.m. PDT. Aqua is dedicated to advancing our understanding of Earth's water cycle and our environment. Launching the Aqua spacecraft marks a major milestone in support of NASA's mission to help us better understand and protect our planet. The Aqua spacecraft lifted off from the Western Test Range of Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Spacecraft separation occurred at 3:54 a.m. PDT. inserting Aqua into a 438-mile (705-kilometer) orbit. Photo by Bill Ingalls

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