A NASA rocket was successfully propelled on a suborbital mission in what was described as a spectacular launch from Spaceport America early this morning. The craft carried nine payloads containing scientific experiments from students across New Mexico, as well as from the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Defense.
The rocket sailed 74 miles into the air and also contained the cremated remains of dozens of people, including the late Hatch Mayor, Judd Nordyke.
Less than two hours after takeoff, a parachute recovery system brought the rocket safely back to earth. It was recovered intact over 20 miles downrange on White Sands Missile Range. The flight marks the 19th launch from the state-owned Spaceport.