VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A rocket carrying a secret payload for the U.S. government has successfully launched from the central California coast.
The Atlas V rocket lit up the sky at 5:49 a.m. Thursday, lifting off from Vandenberg Air Force Base toward low-Earth orbit.
The rocket carried a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, which operates the nation’s system of intelligence-gathering satellites. The agency hasn’t released any details about the payload.
The rocket also carried 13 research nanosatellites for NASA and the NRO. Students, including some from Native American tribes, took part in designing and building the tiny satellites known as CubeSats.
Most Read Nation & World Stories
- 'We are coming for you,' a Port Angeles doctor is told as public health workers find themselves in crisis
- Oregon approved state employee religious exemptions at nearly twice the rate Washington did
- Soldier with 'Hitler mustache' is first to be thrown out of military after Capitol riot charges
- Two Montanas? New maps highlight state's split personality
- FDA OKs mixing COVID vaccines; backs Moderna, J&J boosters
Thursday’s launch was the 58th Atlas V mission since the rocket’s inaugural takeoff in 2002.