AROUND THE NATION; Satellite Out of Control After Florida Launch
A $30 million international communication satellite tumbled out of control after it was launched over the Atlantic Ocean today, and NASA officials said there was no way to save it.
The rocket, launched by a new, stretched model of the Atlas-Centaur rocket, lifted on schedule at 7:03 P.M. Everything went well for 23 minutes when suddenly the Centaur upper stage went out of control.
The launch control center reported the Centaur and the attached satellite were tumbling.
John Gibbs, Atlas-Centaur project manager, told a news conference that officials did not know what went wrong. He said the National Aeronautics and Space Administration would have to analyze data relayed from the rocket in order to determine the cause.
Asked if there was any way to save the rocket and satellite, Mr. Gibbs said, ''No, nothing can be done to salvage it.''
After a preliminary look at data recorded at the cape, the launch director, Skip Mackey, said there were indications the fault may have been with a new fuel system being flown for the first time on the Centaur stage.