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Successful launch from Spaceport America

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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 9:51 pm

SPACEPORT AMERICA — The temperature near the rocket launchpad dipped below 45 degrees Tuesday as the sun crawled over the San Andres Mountains in Southern New Mexico. A dozen college students, some firefighters, a hotel cook, a few news media personnel and people with a vested interest in the rocket’s successful launch at Spaceport America stood around shivering, waiting for the final countdown.

New Mexico State University engineering students Gerardo Martinez, 25, and Armando Muñoz, 21, watched anxiously. They had an apple-sized plastic payload inside the rocket with a small camera attached. The battery life on the camera was good for a little more than two hours. They had been out at the pad at 7 a.m. to make sure their payload was working. The launch already had been delayed once, and 9 a.m. was ticking up fast.

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