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In rocket science, nothing is a given.

But Tuesday morning's predawn launch of a sounding rocket was conducted about as smoothly and routinely as possible at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, the space agency said.

The arcing flight carried more than 20 technologies and experiments into space. The most notable was a shutter door system designed to allow recovery of a telescope payload in open water.

The 56-foot-tall rocket took off at 5:45 a.m., five minutes before sunrise, NASA said. It flew to an altitude of 154 miles before parachuting into the Atlantic Ocean.

A boat recovered the payload. 

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