Photos: Atlas 5 returns to pad for night owl launch

The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket with the NROL-52 spacecraft aboard moved to the launch pad this morning for liftoff Saturday to serve the national interest. Liftoff is scheduled for 3:31 a.m. EDT (0731 GMT).

The Atlas 5 was rolled back to the Vertical Integration Facility on Monday for a removal, replacement and retest of its S-band telemetry transmitter, then waited for nearby Falcon 9 to launch to occur last night before returning to pad today.

Credit: United Launch Alliance

See earlier NROL-52 coverage.