Lighting up the night
On a night already resplendent with celestial wonders, a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket added another spectacle to the sky Friday evening with a fiery ascent from the Florida coastline to an orbit stretching 41,000 miles above Earth.
The 217-foot-tall rocket launched from Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 8:27 p.m. EDT Friday (0027 GMT Saturday). Forty-one minutes later, the Delta 4's hydrogen-fueled upper stage deployed a $342 million communications satellite for the U.S. Air Force.
These photos were taken about 3 miles north of the launch pad.
See our Mission Status Center for the latest news on the launch.
Photo credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now