A rocket streaked along the eastern U.S. sky early Tuesday evening in an unusual sight as NASA put 29 small satellites into orbit, including one made from parts of a smartphone.
NASA and the U.S. Air Force launched the private Minotaur rocket from Wallops Island, Va., in a test flight. The NASA launch pad is getting more use, giving more Americans a view of soaring spacecraft that used to be limited to Florida and California.
Experts estimated that the launch would be seen from Savannah, Ga., to Montreal and as far west as central Ohio.
One of the satellites is controlled by the guts of an off-the-shelf smartphone as NASA experiments with small, cheap, orbiting science projects.
The rocket, built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, also carries a satellite built by Virginia high school students.