NASA's Quick Scatterometer (QuikScat) lofted into space on June 19 from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base. QuikScat will provide climatologists, meteorologists, and oceanographers with daily, detailed snapshots of ocean winds. The mission will greatly improve weather forecasting.
The satellite was launched on a U.S. Air Force Titan II launch vehicle soaring over the Pacific Ocean at sunset. Approximately two and a half minutes after launch, the Titan II first-stage engine shut down and the second stage ignited. A minute later, the nose cone separated in two halves and was jettisoned as planned. An hour into flight, QuikScat deployed its solar arrays.