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Wednesday, 31 May, 2000, 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK
Rocketcam shows trip to orbit
Lockheed Martin
Rocketcam view of the Atlas 3 rocket entering space
By BBC News Online science editor Dr David Whitehouse

Cameras have been attached to the sides of rockets before but the images from the rocketcam on the side of the first launch of the Atlas 3 booster must be the most dramatic.

 Rocketcam's view of the ascent into space

Lockheed Martin
The Atlas 3, a hybrid of US and Russian technology
They take the viewer on a 1 minute 50 second ride from a launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida to the edges of space with the curved horizon of the Earth clearly visible.

The Atlas 3 rocket is built by the Lockheed Martin corporation in the United States and includes the new Russian RD-180 engine.

"A successful inaugural launch is a joyous occasion for all of the people who have worked so hard to make it a reality," said Dr. Mark J. Albrecht, President of International Launch Services (ILS), provider of the launch service.

"The launch is marked by a number of important 'firsts' for all of the organisations involved."

For ILS, the launch marks the 50th consecutive successful Atlas flight.

For Eutelsat, the international satellite operator, it was their 17th satellite launched by an Atlas rocket.

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See also:

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