Navy Gets Wind Instrument Aloft

After five launch attempts were scrubbed because of high winds, a Navy satellite built to take precise wind speed measurements blasted into space at 6:19 a.m. Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The satellite successfully separated from its launch vehicle, an Air Force Titan II missile, about an hour later while flying over Kenya.

The Navy's Windsat instrument will measure wind speeds near the surface of the ocean to improve weather forecasts. A second satellite launched Monday from the same rocket will provide early warning of solar flares that can disrupt communications and power on Earth.

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