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The three spacecraft were launched together by a Delta rocket on 16 August 1984. The CCE was placed in an equatorial orbit with apogee of 8.8 Earth radii and a perigee of 1103 km. Thus for the most part it patrolled the magnetosphere. The IRM and UKS were boosted together into very similar orbits with a much higher apogee of 18.7 Earth radii, which allowed them to cross both the magnetopause and bow shock. The orbital inclination of 28.8 degrees indicates that IRM and UKS crossed the "low-latitude" regions of these two boundaries. The two spacecraft remained close together (1 to 1000km) so that UKS could provide local plasma diagnostics during ion releases. The perigee of IRM and UKS was 557 km, giving an orbital period of 44.3 hours.

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