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Rocket carrying SCU satellites to launch Friday

Thursday, Jan. 13, 2000

SANTA CLARA, Jan.13, 2000 - A private commercial rocket sitting at Space Launch Complex Seven, Vandenberg Air Force Base, today, will lift four payloads of satellites into orbit on Friday, including three tiny satellites built last year at Santa Clara University by six female engineering students.

All systems are go for the inaugural launch of the Orbital Suborbital Program Space Launch Vehicle, postponed several times since last August, to occur at 6:54 p.m. on January 14, from the Lompoc, Calif. site. The launch window is scheduled from 6:54 p.m. to 9:54 p.m.

The entire event will be carried live via Webcast, starting at 2 p.m., PST, on Jan.14, at Registration on the site prior to the event is required to obtain a password.

The launch will be the first voyage of a new rocket that is a hybrid of two former military rockets, the Minuteman II ICBM and the Pegasus XL. The creation of the rocket by the Orbital Sciences Corporation is part an Air Force effort to use surplus Minuteman components for spacelifting payloads into polar orbit.

One of the students who designed the three SCU satellites being sent into orbit Friday, Amy Slaughterbeck, is in a master's program at SCU, and will attend the launch. Of the other members of the "Artemis" project, Corina Hu, Maureen Breiling and Adelia Valdez are graduate students at other universities, and Dina Hadl and Theresa Kuhlman are employed at Silicon Valley firms.

The SCU project is under the direction of Christopher Kitts, co-director of the Santa Clara Remote Extreme Environment Mechanisms Laboratory, which is part of the University.

Terry Shoup, dean of the SCU School of Engineering, is hosting a launch reception for engineering students and faculty from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Room 325 of the Thomas J. Bannan engineering building, located across from the main parking structure at the Santa Clara campus.


Media interested in attending the launch must fax a letter on newspaper letterhead, signed by an editor, to Public Affairs, Vandenberg AFB 30th Space Wing, 805-606-8303, by noon on Jan. 14, that has: full name, reason for coverage, and photocopy of a photo ID. They must also call TSgt. Buzz Ritchie and be at the Vandenberg entrance gate by 5:50 p.m. on Jan.14 to be escorted to the media viewing area.

The event will be Webcast live on, and media may capture photo images of that broadcast.

Videos and stills of the launch will be provided by the Air Force at Vandenberg by 10 p.m. Friday. Contact Vandenberg Public Affairs, at 805-606-3595, for details.

A live video uplink is available. Here is the transponder information:
Jan. 14, 2 to 8 p.m. PST
Telstar 6c/11
Uplink Frequency: 6145
Downlink Frequency: 3920/Vertical
Arc Position: 93 Degrees West

Dean Shoup is available for interviews Jan. 14, at 408-554-4600. Kitts, the Artemis project director, also is available for interviews on Jan.14, at 408-554-4382.

For more information about the project, see

For information about Santa Clara University, see, call Barry Holtzclaw at 408-554-5126 or e-mail:

Tags: rocket

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