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Launch Photos: Secret Spy Satellite NROL-61 Blasts Off On Atlas V Rocket

New Spy Satellite Soars

United Launch Alliance/Jeff Spotts

On July 28, 2016, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launched into space to deliver the classified NROL-61 satellite into orbit for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. Liftoff occurred at 8:37 a.m. EDT from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Check out more amazing launch photos in this slideshow. Click here for launch video and our wrap story.

Liftoff!

United Launch Alliance

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the classifed NROL-61 satellite launches into space from a pad at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on July 28, 2016 to begin a mission for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.Click here for launch video and our wrap story.

Atlas V Rocket Booster Separation

United Launch Alliance

A camera on ULA's Atlas V captures the moment of solid rocket booster separation during the launch of the NROL-61 satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. Click here for launch video and our wrap story.

Looking Up

United Launch Alliance

A camera at the Space Launch Complex 41 pad captures the Atlas V rocket's liftoff. Click here for launch video and our wrap story.

Ready to Fly

United Launch Alliance/Ben Cooper

This amazing photo by ULA photographer Ben Cooper shows the Atlas V rocket at the pad ahead of its July 28, 2016 launch. Click here for launch video and our wrap story.

Next Stop, Space

United Launch Alliance

A distant view of the Atlas V launching NROL-61 into space as seen in United Launch Alliance's webcast. Click here for launch video and our wrap story.

The View Up Here

United Launch Alliance

A stunning view of Earth from space from a camera mounted on the Atlas V rocket during the NROL-61 launch. Click here for launch video and our wrap story.

Rocket Tracking

United Launch Alliance

The NROL-61 launch marked the 109th mission for the United Launch Alliance since its formation in 2006. Here, a tracking camera follows Atlas V into space. Click here for launch video and our wrap story.

Farewell, Cape Canaveral

United Launch Alliance

A camera mounted on the Atlas V rocket captured this view of Cape Canaveral, Florid a from above (note the shoreline on the right side). Click here for launch video and our wrap story.

Atlas V, Rollout

United Launch Alliance

The United Launch Alliance rolls the Atlas V rocket out to its launch pad ahead of a July 28 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Click here for launch video and our wrap story.

Slow and Steady

United Launch Alliance

Another view of the Atlas V rocket's rollout. The NROL-61 mission marked the 64th Atlas V launch by the United Launch Alliance. Click here for launch video and our wrap story.

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Tariq Malik

SPACE.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF — Tariq joined the Space.com team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Google+, Twitter and on Facebook.