The most powerful configuration of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket blasted off April 14 from Cape Canaveral, hauling multiple U.S. Air Force satellites to a perch high above the equator after piercing a clear evening sky over Florida’s Space Coast with 2.6 million pounds of thrust.
The 197-foot-tall (60-meter) rocket, boosted by an RD-180 main engine and five strap-on solid rocket motors, lifted off at 7:13 p.m. EDT (2313 GMT) on April 14 from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 launch pad.
These images show the Atlas 5 rocket climbing away from the launch pad, heading east over the Atlantic Ocean on a mission the Air Force codenamed AFSPC 11. It carried a military communications satellite and a tech demo experiment carrier into geostationary orbit.
Read our full story for details on the mission.
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