Launch of Titan IV-B rocket.
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Courtesy of the United States Air Force and Lockheed Martin
Titan Rocket Finally Completes First Mission
News story originally written on May 24, 1999
The new Titan IV-B rocket finally completed a successful mission today
after months of failure. The Lockheed Martin missile carried a secret
machine for the United States Air Force.
On board the vehicle was a secret spy satellite for the National
Reconnaissance Office. An earlier mission was supposed to launch a similar
satellite into orbit, but the Titan rocket blew up after liftoff,
destroying the $1 billion satellite.
The Titan IV is the nation's largest unmanned rocket, but it has a
terrible record. The rocket failed to launch in two previous attempts and
blew up in another. A planned mission to send NASA's Quickscat weather
satellite into orbit has been delayed because the Titan IV isn't ready for
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