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Last-of-its-kind rocket puts GPS satellite in orbit

The Delta IV Medium ended its nearly two-decade run with 29 launches.

A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket lifts off at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (John Raoux/AP)
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket lifts off at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (John Raoux/AP)

By Marcia Dunn, Associated Press

A rocket that is the last of its kind has delivered the newest, most powerful GPS satellite to orbit for the US Air Force.

United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV medium-class rocket lifted off on Thursday morning from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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The United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket’s swansong (Terry Renna/AP)

It was a fitting swan song for the rocket.

Company president Tory Bruno tweeted that the lift-off was “hot, straight and normal.”

Two hours later, the satellite separated from the upper stage and the company declared success.

The Delta IV Medium ended its nearly two-decade run with 29 launches.

Denver-based United Launch Alliance said it will be replaced by the still-in-development Vulcan rocket.

The newly launched GPS satellite is the second in a series of next-generation navigation spacecraft.

It was nicknamed Magellan after the 16th-century Portuguese explorer.

Lockheed Martin, also based in Colorado, built the satellite.

PA

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