Italian scientists on Saturday (12 December) put an American "eye in the sky" satellite into orbit after a perfect blast-off from the San Marco launch platform three miles (5 km) off the kenya coast.
LV ZOOM IN Rocket being erected on San Marco platform.
SV Santa Rita platform.
SV Name Santa Rita on side.
GV Tracking dish.
SV INT, control room
CU T.V Monitoring screen.
SV Controller and assistants.
CU Firing button.
CU Controller on phone.
LV Rocket ready for launch.
CU Italian Ambassador to Kenya watches from deck.
SV Tracking dish.
LV Countdown and launch (3 shots)
GV Vapour trail as rocket climbs.
SV PAN Nasa woman project manager leaves platform with others.
Initials JMR/PW/SGM/0303 JMR/PW/CO/3.30
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Background: Italian scientists on Saturday (12 December) put an American "eye in the sky" satellite into orbit after a perfect blast-off from the San Marco launch platform three miles (5 km) off the kenya coast. The satellite, officially designated "X-ray Explorer", was named "Uhuru", the Swahili word for freedom, to mark Kenya's Independence Day on which it was launched.
The 315 pound (143 kilo) spacecraft was launched rom the San Marco platform, three miles out in the Indian Ocean in Formosa Bay. It went into Equatorial orbit 340 miles (545 km) above the earth. It is designed to conduct X-ray experiments in Space.
The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said it should collect more data in one day than had been obtained in eight years with other rockets
"Uhuru" is the first United States satellite to be launched by another country and the siting of the San Marco platform near the Equator enabled the use of smaller rocket than would have been necessary at Cape Kennedy, Florida.
Italian engineers who run the San Marco project directed the launch with the assistance of one American technician, Mrs. Marjorie Townsend. Many members of Kenya's large Italian population, including the italian Ambassador, watched the blast-off.