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Delta 2 joins ‘rocket hall of fame’

September 16, 2018 GMT

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A rocket known for launching satellites and other spacecraft into the sky for the past three decades is joining a hall-of-fame of sorts for historic rockets.

Officials said Saturday that the Delta 2 rocket will join the Rocket Garden on display at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The “garden” includes rockets used to launch Alan Shepard’s first U.S. human spaceflight as well as launch the mission to the Skylab space station and the first U.S.-Soviet joint spaceflight.

The Delta 2 rocket was retired Saturday after launching a NASA satellite designed to precisely measure changes in Earth’s ice sheets.

The first Delta 2 lifted off in 1989.

Besides satellites, the rocket has launched GPS orbiters and interplanetary missions including the twin Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity.