Atlas 5 launches into gray sky

Continuing in-orbit construction of a U.S. Navy satellite network, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifted off Friday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

The two-stage launcher, boosted by five strap-on motors, launched at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) to deliver the 7.5-ton tactical communications satellite to orbit.

These photos were taken at Playalinda Beach less than 5 miles north of the launch pad.

See our Mission Status Center for the latest news on the launch.

Photo credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now

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