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Atlas 5 launches classified satellite
Posted: Sun, Sep 16, 2012, 10:40 AM ET (1440 GMT)
Atlas 5 launch of NROL-36 (ULA) A long-delayed Atlas 5 finally lifted off Thursday afternoon, placing a classified satellite and several small secondary payloads into orbit. The Atlas 5 401 lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 5:39 pm EDT (2139 GMT) Thursday on a mission designated NROL-36 for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). While the payload remains classified, outside observers believe it is the latest pair of satellites for the Naval Ocean Surveillance System. The Atlas 5 also carried 11 small CubeSats provided by various organizations and sponsored by the NRO and NASA. The launch had been planned for early August, but was delayed by problems with ground support equipment at the launch site.
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