Riding the rails between its assembly building and the launch pad, an Atlas 5 rocket topped with a clandestine national security satellite was rolled out this morning for Thursday’s liftoff at 4:07 a.m. EDT (0807 GMT).
A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket took off from Cape Canaveral at 3:28 a.m. EDT (0728 GMT) today to place a classified surveillance satellite into space for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. Follow the ascent in our live journal.
his photo gallery shows the classified National Reconnaissance Office payload, already encapsulated in the 14-foot-diameter nose cone, being lifted atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas-Centaur rocket at Cape Canaveral’s Vertical Integration Facility.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket leaves Space Launch Complex 3-East at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on the NROL-42 satellite-deployment mission for the National Reconnaissance Office.
The mobile service tower retracts from the Atlas 5 rocket, revealing the 197-foot-tall vehicle for liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, carrying the classified NROL-42 national security payload for the U.S. government.