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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

U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Peterson

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.

Atlas 5 Rocket Launches NROL-39

United Launch Alliance

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, the mission is in support of national defense. [Read the Full Launch Story Here]

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

U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Peterson

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 Base, California. [Read the Full Launch Story Here]

Atlas 5 Rocket Launches NROL-39: Streaking Spaceward

U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Peterso

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. [Read the Full Launch Story Here]

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

U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Peterson

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 Base, California. [Read the Full Launch Story Here]

Lift Off! United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket Launches

United Launch Alliance

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office lifted off from Space Launch Complex-3 on Dec. 5 at 11:14 p.m. PST. Designated NROL-39, the mission is in support of national defense. [Read the Full Launch Story Here]

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

U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Peterson

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 Base, California. [Read the Full Launch Story Here]

Atlas 5 Rocket Launch Art: NROL-39

United Launch Alliance/NRO

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. [Read the Full Launch Story Here]

United Launch Alliance Launch: Mobile Service Tower Rolls Back

United Launch Alliance

The mobile service tower is rolled back from a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in preparation to launch the NRO's NROL-39 mission. [Read the Full Launch Story Here]

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

U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Peterson

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 Base, California. [Read the Full Launch Story Here]

United Launch Alliance Preps for Liftoff

United Launch Alliance

The mobile service tower is rolled back from a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in preparation to launch the NRO's NROL-39 mission. [Read the Full Launch Story Here]

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