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NRO's Secret NROL-36 Payload Launches


Vandenberg’s 5th Atlas V lifts off

9/13/2012 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Team Vandenberg launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-3 here Sept. 13 at 2:39 p.m.
It was the fifth Atlas V processed at Vandenberg and the 606th Atlas mission in U.S. history.

"It's an honor to work alongside the men and women of Team Vandenberg, United Launch Alliance, the National Reconnaissance Office and our mission partners," said Col. Nina Armagno, 30th Space Wing commander. "These synergistic relationships are what guide Vandenberg to continual mission success and lead us into the next generation of spaceport excellence."

Western range launch operations were executed without incident.

The rocket carried a national security payload for the National Reconnaissance Office.

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atlas-5-rocket-launch-nrol-36-spy-satellite-3
An Atlas 5 rocket ascends toward space carrying the classified NROL-36 satellite and 11 small science cubesats on Sept. 13, 2012, in a flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (Credit: Pat Corkery/United Launch Alliance)

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