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  • _front
    This collection of photographs shows the National Reconnaissance Office's classified NROL-45 payload, already encapsulated in the Delta 4 nose cone, being moved from the payload processing facility at Space Launch Complex 6 and lifted atop the United Launch Alliance rocket for flight from Vandenberg.
  • The shuttle Enterprise sits atop SLC-6 for "fit checks" in 1985. Credit: Air Force
    It was 1986 and the U.S. Air Force was on the cusp of something unprecedented in human spaceflight -- launching a space shuttle crew from California and paving the way for people to fly true polar missions.
  • soyuzglonass
    A Soyuz rocket blasted off from Russia's northern cosmodrome Sunday, adding another satellite to the nation's Glonass navigation fleet to replace an aging spacecraft.
  • Credit: NASA
    Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon, died Thursday night after a short illness, one day before the 45th anniversary of his landing in the hilly Fra Mauro region of the moon with crewmate Alan Shepard. He was 85.
  • story_front
    The main engine rumbling to life. Ice shards breaking free. The rocket lumbering off the pad. The battle against gravity being won once again. That was the scene as the Atlas 5 took flight to cap a generation of Global Positioning System satellites.
  • gallery_front
    A collection of pad photos from the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket flight to deploy the GPS 2F-12 satellite for use by the U.S. military and billions of civilians around the world.
  • EyeTVSnapshot[1514]_front
    A replay of the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket launching the Global Positioning System 2F-12 satellite from Cape Canaveral, Florida, completing 27 years and 61 flights of the GPS 2 generation.
  • EyeTVSnapshot[1516]_front
    A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral at 8:38 a.m. EST (1338 GMT) Friday to place the Global Positioning System 2F-12 navigation satellite into space. Follow the mission in our live journal.
  • 2_front
    The Atlas 5 rocket emerges from the Vertical Integration Facility for rollout to Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral in preparation to launch GPS 2F-12 satellite on Friday at 8:38 a.m. EST.
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    Two veteran cosmonauts ventured outside the International Space Station Wednesday, swapped out materials science space exposure samples, installed handrails needed for future spacewalks and tested an applicator and thin-film coatings that could prove useful reconditioning aged or damaged hull panels.