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NASA telescope launched into space despite budget battle

December 30, 1995
Web posted at: 9:30 p.m. EST 

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (CNN) -- NASA launched a telescope into space Saturday even though the space agency is one of nine agencies closed by the federal government's partial shutdown.

Despite the budget impasse, the launch of the X-Ray Timing Explorer was considered essential. The $195 million satellite will study, among other things, collapsed stars and possible black holes. It will circle in space for at least two years.

About the size of a small bus, the satellite was carried in a Delta rocket. The satellite is the first X-ray astronomy observatory since 1978.

Six launch attempts since August had been delayed by weather or technical problems.

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