Greenbelt, Md. — The $100 million relay satellite that NASA almost gave up as lost in space 12 weeks ago reached its planned orbit 22,236 miles high. The unprecedented rescue operation took 58 days.
A six-minute firing of two control rockets with nozzles the size of a thimble made the final adjustment of the orbit. The firing synchronized the satellite's orbital speed with Earth's rotation, leaving the spacecraft parked in orbit over Brazil.