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Launch Photos: Classified US Spy Satellite Blasts Off on Atlas 5 Rocket

  • Atlas 5 Rocket Launches Air Force's NROL-39 Spysat

    A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying the classified NROL-39 satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office launches on Dec. 5, 2013. The rocket launched at 11:14:30 PST from Space Launch Complex-3 by Team Vandenberg at Vandenberg Air Force B
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    CREDIT: U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Peterson
  • Atlas 5 Rocket Launches NROL-39

    A United Launch Alliance  Atlas 5 rocket carrying the classified NROL-39 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) lifted off from Space Launch Complex-3 at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on Dec. 5 at 11:14 p.m. PST. Designated NROL-39,
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    CREDIT: United Launch Alliance
  • Atlas 5 Rocket Launches Air Force's NROL-39 Spysat

    A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying the classified NROL-39 satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office launches on Dec. 5, 2013. The rocket launched at 11:14:30 PST from Space Launch Complex-3 by Team Vandenberg at Vandenberg Air Force B
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    CREDIT: U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Peterson
  • Atlas 5 Rocket Launches NROL-39: Streaking Spaceward

    A United launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket streaks toward space carrying the classified NROL-39 satellite into orbit for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office on Dec. 5, 2013 from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base.
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    CREDIT: U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Peterso
  • Atlas 5 Rocket Launches Air Force's NROL-39 Spysat

    A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying the classified NROL-39 satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office launches on Dec. 5, 2013. The rocket launched at 11:14:30 PST from Space Launch Complex-3 by Team Vandenberg at Vandenberg Air Force B
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    CREDIT: U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Peterson
  • Lift Off! United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket Launches

    Lift Off! United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket Launches
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    CREDIT: United Launch Alliance
  • Atlas 5 Rocket Launches Air Force's NROL-39 Spysat

    A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying the classified NROL-39 satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office launches on Dec. 5, 2013. The rocket launched at 11:14:30 PST from Space Launch Complex-3 by Team Vandenberg at Vandenberg Air Force B
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    CREDIT: U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Peterson
  • Atlas 5 Rocket Launch Art: NROL-39

    This image is the official mission graphic and logo of the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office's classified NROL-39 satellite launch of Dec. 5, 2013 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California..
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    CREDIT: United Launch Alliance/NRO
  • United Launch Alliance Launch: Mobile Service Tower Rolls Back

    United Launch Alliance Launch: Mobile Service Tower Rolls Back
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    CREDIT: United Launch Alliance
  • Atlas 5 Rocket Launches Air Force's NROL-39 Spysat

    A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying the classified NROL-39 satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office launches on Dec. 5, 2013. The rocket launched at 11:14:30 PST from Space Launch Complex-3 by Team Vandenberg at Vandenberg Air Force B
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    CREDIT: U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Peterson
  • United Launch Alliance Preps for Liftoff

    United Launch Alliance Preps for Liftoff
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    CREDIT: United Launch Alliance
  • United Launch Alliance Awaits Atlas V Liftoff

    United Launch Alliance Awaits Atlas V Liftoff
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    CREDIT: United Launch Alliance
  • United Launch Alliance Preps for Atlas V Liftoff

    United Launch Alliance Preps for Atlas V Liftoff
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    CREDIT: United Launch Alliance
  • Mobile Service Tower Rolls Back

    Mobile Service Tower Rolls Back
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    CREDIT: United Launch Alliance
  • United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket Up Close

    United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket Up Close
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    CREDIT: United Launch Alliance
  • NROL-39 Payload Mated to Atlas V Booster

    NROL-39 Payload Mated to Atlas V Booster
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    CREDIT: United Launch Alliance
  • NROL-39 Payload Transported to Atlas V Booster

    NROL-39 Payload Transported to Atlas V Booster
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    CREDIT: United Launch Alliance
  • NROL-39 Payload Heads to Atlas V Booster

    NROL-39 Payload Heads to Atlas V Booster
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    CREDIT: United Launch Alliance
On Dec. 5, 2013, the U.S. Air Force launched a classified satellite into orbit for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office in a clandestine mission that blasted off from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base. See amazing photos from the secretive launch here. Above, the Atlas 5 rocket carrying the classified NROL-39 satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office launches on Dec. 5, 2013. The rocket launched at 11:14:30 PST from Space Launch Complex-3 by Team Vandenberg. [Read the Full Launch Story Here]

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