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Launch Photos: NROL-55 Spy Satellite and Cubesats Blast Off

NROL-55 Payload Raised

United Launch Alliance

The NROL-55 payload, inside a 4-meter diameter payload fairing, undergoes mating to an Atlas V rocket booster inside the Mobile Service Tower (MST) at Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex-3 in California. Read our full launch wrap story.

NROL-55 Payload Suspended

United Launch Alliance

The NROL-55 payload, inside a 4-meter diameter payload fairing, undergoes mating to an Atlas V rocket booster inside the Mobile Service Tower (MST) at Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex-3 in California. Read our full launch wrap story.

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Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Kim Hickock as our Reference Editor and Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.