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Rocket Launches 4 Tiny Satellites on Test Flight (Photos)

Prospector-18D Raised to Launch Position

NASA

The Prospector-18D rocket is raised to launch position on June 15, 2013 in California's Mojave Desert.

Students Gather Near Prospector-18D Rocket

NASA

Students gather by the Prospector-18D rocket before its launch on June 15, 2013 in California's Mojave Desert.

Prospector-18D Rocket Blasts Off

NASA

The Prospector-18D rocket blasts off on June 15, 2013, carrying four tiny CubeSats on a test launch from California's Mojave Desert.

Prospector 18 Rocket Lifts Off

NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

The Garvey Spacecraft Corporation's Prospector 18 rocket lifts off on June 18, 2013, carrying its payload of CubeSats. Despite a hard landing, all four satellites were recovered.

Prospector-18D Rocket After Crash

Douglas Messier/SPACE.com

The Garvey Spacecraft Corp.'s Prospector-18D rocket after crashing during a test flight on June 15, 2013.

Prospector 18 Rocket Prelaunch Briefing

NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

Students and engineers participate in a prelaunch briefing before liftoff of the Prospector 18 rocket.

Prospector-18D Rocket Students and Staff

Douglas Messier/SPACE.com

Students and staff from Merritt Island High School in Florida pose near the downed Prospector-18D rocket on June 15, 2013.

Dented Rocket University Broad Initiatives CubeSat

Douglas Messier/SPACE.com

The dented Rocket University Broad Initiatives CubeSat (RUBICS-1) on June 15, 2013, after the Prospector-18D rocket's nosecone was removed.

Damaged PhoneSat

Douglas Messier/SPACE.com

The damaged PhoneSat, which crashed to Earth aboard its Prospector-18D rocket during a June 15, 2013 test flight from California's Mojave Desert.

Engineers Examine Damaged PhoneSat

Douglas Messier/SPACE.com

Engineers examine the damaged PhoneSat, which crashed to Earth aboard its Prospector-18D rocket during a June 15, 2013 test flight from California's Mojave Desert.

PolySat and StangSat CubeSats

Douglas Messier/SPACE.com

The PolySat and StangSat CubeSats, housed in their poly-picosat orbital deployer (P-POD).

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Space.com Staff
Space.com Staff

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.