Pegasus/Space Technology 5 launch
March 22, 2006

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Three Space Technology 5 satellites were placed in orbit by an Orbital Sciences Pegasus-XL booster launched from Orbital's Lockheed L-1011, N140SC Stargazer at 6:03 A.M. PST on March 22, 2006.

The first attempt to launch the Space Technology 5 satellites was aborted when a pin failed to retract from a control fin on the Pegasus-XL booster shortly before launch on March 15. Stargazer is seen here returning to Runway 12 at Vandenberg Air Force Base with the Pegasus-XL booster. The offending pin was replaced before the second launch attempt.

The second launch attempt came off without a hitch at sunrise. The contrail from the ascending Pegasus-XL booster is barely visible.

The contrail faded away in just a minute.

After the previous Pegasus-XL launch last April 15, Stargazer flew a left hand pattern to Runway 30.

This time Stargazer flew a right hand pattern that put it in front of the sun from where I was taking pictures..

The next Pegasus-XL booster launch is scheduled for September 29, 2006. It will carry the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite.

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