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NSWC Port Hueneme, White Sands Detachment, Launches Suborbital Mission for NASA

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS111014-02

From Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme

WHITE SANDS, N.M. (NNS) -- Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Port Hueneme Division's White Sands Detachment successfully launched a Terrier Black Brant Sounding Rocket to support a scientific mission for NASA Oct. 8.

The rocket proceeded according to its proper space trajectory carrying a payload designed to detect planets in other solar systems, using optical sensor and measurement technique in the visible light band.

"The White Sands Missile Range is an important location for launching solar and astronomical telescope payloads," said Phil Eberspeaker, chief of the sounding rockets program office at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. "We can recover the payloads and then refurbish and enhance them for future flights. The NSWC launch team is an important partner in NASA's efforts to develop new space technology and conduct ground breaking research."

NSWC Port Hueneme's White Sands Missile Range has provided government agencies with technical expertise and launch capabilities since 1946.

The launch facility and test site performs live-fire test and evaluation of weapons encompassing missiles, guided munitions and high-energy laser technologies. White Sands Missile Range provides high-quality radar, optical, telemetry, meteorology and scenario control over the entire extent of the range. The precision instrumentation at White Sands Missile Range provides state of the art data collection, reduction and analysis.

White Sands Missile Range provides the largest overland Department of Defense controlled land and airspace within the continental United States (100 miles long and 40 miles wide) for testing of long-range weapons and systems.

The payload for the launch was recovered. It will likely be refurbished and flown again as a continuing series of scientific space investigations.

NSWC Port Hueneme is a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command and provides the Navy with weapon system in-service engineering, logistics and test and evaluation.

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