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Research Sat Tracks Minuteman Booster: A modified Minuteman II booster launched by personnel at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., Aug. 23 was the object of boost-phase data collected by the Missile Defense Agency’s NFIRE (near field infrared experiment) research satellite, launched earlier this year. The point was to provide a better understanding of missile exhaust plumes and the difference between the plume and the rocket body, according to an MDA release. The satellite downloaded the data to MDA operations at Schriever AFB, Colo.