Launch of The Ad Astra Flight,
Feb. 10, 1998, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
The successful launch
of The Ad Astra Flight -- the second satellite of the Celestis
Earthview Service -- occurred Tuesday February 10, 1998 at 5:21
a.m. Pacific Standard Time. Over two dozen participants were on
board this launch. Read their
Family members and other partners received an invitation to the
launch. They also attended a tour of the launch site and viewed
the Taurus vehicle on the pad. A memorial service was conducted
for family members in nearby Lompoc, California.
The launch occurred from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
aboard a Taurus rocket provided by Orbital Sciences Corporation.
The Celestis spacecraft was attached to the final stage of the Taurus.
The vehicle's primary payloads were Geosat Follow On (GFO)
-- a Navy satellite -- and two Orbcomm communication satellites.
The rocket placed the Celestis 03 spacecraft into a near polar
orbit with the following initial parameters:
Apogee: 874 km (546.25 miles)
Perigee: 782.4 km (488.75 miles)
Orbital period: 101.4 minutes
14.2 revolutions per day
Inclination: 108 degrees
Estimated Orbital Lifetime: 240 years
The spacecraft (desginated as "CELESTIS 03/TAURUS R/B")
is still on orbit and can be tracked here.
Click map to track current position of The ad astra