The Atlas V rocket successfully launched at 4:10 a.m. on Wednesday. Here, the launch is seen from Port Canaveral. (Malcolm Denemark, FLORIDA TODAY)
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL (Florida Today) - An Atlas V rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral
Air Force Station this morning, roaring toward orbit with an Air Force
communications satellite onboard.
197-foot-tall United Launch Alliance rocket leap off its launch pad at
4:10 a.m. -- 66 minutes behind schedule. Launch managers had to wait for
cumulus clouds to clear the area and upper-level winds to die down.
by a sporty Russian main engine and three strap-on solid rocket
boosters, the first stage of the rocket climbed a straight-up flight
profile before curving out over the Atlantic Ocean. The three solid
rocket motors were jettisoned about two minutes into flight and twinkled
orange as they fell toward the sea.
Riding aboard the Atlas V:
the third of six Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) communications
satellites. The jam-resistant spacecraft are each 10 times more capable
than the Milstar constellation they are replacing.
was the 40th for Atlas V rockets and the 75th since Boeing and Lockheed
Martin merged the Atlas V and Delta IV rocket families under the United
Launch Alliance banner in December 2006.
The next launch for ULA
at the Cape will be a Delta IV rocket with a Global Positioning System
(GPS) satellite on Oct. 17. The launch window that day will open at 6:20
p.m. and close 18 minutes later.