Photos: Atlas 5 powers NRO payload into the night
Signals intelligence gatherer successfully launched by powerful Atlas 5 rocket
Photos: Gantry rolled back to reveal Atlas 5 rocket for launch
Video: NROL-42 launch aboard the Atlas 5 rocket
The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, standing 197 feet tall and and weighing 1.2 million pounds, unleashes 2.4 million pounds of thrust from its main engine and four side-mounted solid boosters to launch the secret NROL-42 payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
Live coverage: Atlas 5 countdown and launch journal
Preview: ULA milestone launch for National Reconnaissance Office set
Photos: NROL-42 payload joins Atlas 5 booster for launch
This photo gallery shows the classified National Reconnaissance Office payload, already encapsulated in the 18-foot-diameter nose cone, being lifted atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas-Centaur rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Space Launch Complex 3-East pad. This milestone was achieved on Aug. 27.