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

At the Pad

United Launch Alliance

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the classified NROL-61 satellite is rolled from the Vertical Integration Facility to the pad at Space Launch Complex-41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Click here for launch video and our wrap story.

Up Close and Personal

United Launch Alliance/Ben Cooper

If you could get up close and personal with an Atlas V rocket, here's the view you'd see. The Atlas V rocket launched on July 28 was a 421 series variant. It stands nearly 107 feet tall. Click here for launch video and our wrap story.

Meet Spike

United Launch Alliance

The mission logo for the classified NROL-61 satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office atop an Atlas V rocket on July 28, 2016. The United Launch Alliance launched the mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. 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.