Photos courtesy of United Launch Alliance
A two-hour launch window opened at 5:44 a.m. and after “a couple of minor issues” were resolved, the NASA website said, the Atlas V lifted off at 6:13 a.m. just in time to capture the sun’s rays. United Launch Alliance declared the launch a success.
The rocket will deploy an advanced communications satellite for the U.S. Air Force, according to the NASA website.
Atlas V is one of two rockets operated by United Launch Alliance, formed in 2006 as a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing under the Air Force’s National Security Space Launch program. Along withthe Delta IV rocket, Atlas conducts national security launches for the U.S. military and for commercial and scientific launches.