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WASHINGOTN, March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- NASA's Space Technology 5successfully launched today at 9:04 a.m. EST , from Vandenberg Air Force Base,Calif., on a Pegasus XL rocket.
ST5 is testing new micro-spacecraft technologies and operations'techniques. The three spacecraft will conduct science validation using measurements of the Earth's magnetic field collected by the miniature boom-mounted magnetometers on each.
Initial contact with ST5 was made at 9:27 a.m. EST , as the spacecraft passed over the McMurdo Ground Station in Antarctica.
Art Azarbarzin, ST5 project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., described next week's planned activities for the spacecraft. "During the first day, we ensure the three craft are correctly operating. During the next few days, we deploy and test the magnetometer booms. Finally we prepare them for the science demonstration and make any necessaryorientation adjustments," Azarbarzin said.
Miniaturized components and technologies are integrated into each of the ST5 micro-satellites. Each micro-satellite weighs approximately 25 kilograms(55 pounds) when fully fueled and is about the size of a 13 inch television.