Delta II Sends CONTOUR to Comets' Hearts

The Boeing Company has helped NASA with a first step toward penetrating the innermost secrets of comets as a Boeing Delta II 7425 rocket powered into the skies above Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., sending NASA's Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) spacecraft into orbit.

Liftoff from Pad A at Space Launch Complex 17 was 2:47 a.m. EDT. Sixty-three minutes into flight, the Delta II safely placed CONTOUR in an elliptical Earth orbit, where it will remain until mission operators put the spacecraft on a path toward at least two comets.