A rocket carrying small satellites called CubeSats, which scientists hope can transmit vastly larger amounts of data, is launched from California. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The U.S. space agency, NASA, and the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office, NRO, have launched a new generation of small satellites, called CubeSats, that are expected to transfer data much faster and cheaper than current technology can. An Atlas V rocket took off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Thursday (October 8) at 0549PDT (1249GMT), carrying 13 CubeSats, four of which are sponsored by NASA and nine by the NRO. At a briefing Wednesday (October 7), scientists said they will test the use of lasers to transfer data at speeds up to 100 times faster than current systems, and also carry larger amounts of data. The satellites will also test new small satellite control and communications systems, Earth observations, amateur radio communications and an X-Band radio science transponder. Experts said, in addition to the technological advances, the smaller satellites will be much cheaper and faster to build.