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On Launch Pad 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Station is lowered toward the second stage of a Boeing Delta 7326 rocket.

NASA

NASA

On Launch Pad 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Station, Deep Space 1 is lowered toward the second stage of a Boeing Delta 7326 rocket. The adapter on the spacecraft can be seen surrounding the booster motor. Targeted for launch on Oct. 25, Deep Space 1 is the first flight in NASA's New Millennium Program, and is designed to validate 12 new technologies for scientific space missions of the next century, including the engine. Propelled by the gas xenon, the engine is being flight-tested for future deep space and Earth-orbiting missions. Deceptively powerful, the ion drive emits only an eerie blue glow as ionized atoms of xenon are pushed out of the engine. While slow to pick up speed, over the long haul it can deliver 10 times as much thrust per pound of fuel as liquid or solid fuel rockets. Other onboard experiments include software that tracks celestial bodies so the spacecraft can make its own navigation decisions without the intervention of ground controllers. Deep Space 1 will complete most of its mission objectives within the first two months, but will also do a flyby of a near-Earth asteroid, 1992 KD, in July 1999

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  • Title: On Launch Pad 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Station is lowered toward the second stage of a Boeing Delta 7326 rocket.
  • Location: Kennedy Space Center, FL
  • Owner: KSC
  • Album: cbabir
  • About Title: To help you find images you’re searching for, previously untitled images have been labelled automatically based on their description

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