Mid-Atlantic rocket launch gives East rare view

Nov 20, 2013
Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Miotaur I rocket carrying the Air Force's ORS-3 mission launches from Pad 0B of the Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Eastern Shore News, Jay Diem)

A rocket has streaked along the eastern U.S. early evening sky in an unusual sight as NASA put a smartphone and 28 other tiny satellites into orbit.

NASA and the Air Force launched the private Minotaur rocket Tuesday from Wallops Island, Va., in a . The NASA launch pad is getting more use, giving more Americans a view of soaring spacecraft that used to be limited to Florida and California.

Experts estimated that the launch would be seen from Savannah, Ga., to Montreal to central Ohio.

One of the satellites is controlled by the guts of an off-the-shelf smartphone as NASA experiments with small, cheap, orbiting .

The rocket, built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, also carries a satellite built by Virginia high school students.

Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Miotaur I rocket carrying the Air Force's ORS-3 mission launches from Pad 0B of the Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Va. on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Eastern Shore News, Jay Diem)


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