An American spy satellite and 13 tiny “cubesats” shared a rocket ride to orbit this morning, lighting up the predawn sky over their California launchpad.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket blasted off today (Oct. 8) from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base at 5:49 a.m. EDT (0949 GMT; 8:49 a.m. local California time), lofting the secret NROL-55 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the agency that operates the United States’ spy satellites. You can watch a video replay of the dazzling rocket launch here.
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