Lockheed Martin Corporation launched an Athena-2 launch vehicle on 6 January 1998 at 9:28 p.m. EST. The Athena-2 was launched from Spaceport Florida, Cape Canaveral Air Station, Florida. This was the first launch of the Athena-2 vehicle, and the first launch from a commercial launch site. The Athena-2 carried the Lunar Prospector to low earth orbit. The Trans-Lunar Injection stage transported the Lunar Prospector from low earth orbit to a trajectory toward the moon. The Lunar Prospector, a NASA payload, is designed for a low-polar orbit investigation of the Moon, including mapping of surface composition and possible polar ice deposits, measurements of magnetic and gravity fields, and study of lunar outgassing events.
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