Atlas 5 Blasts Off with Air Force Satellites

An Atlas 5 rocket carried an Air Force payload toward a high Earth orbit on Saturday, beginning an approximate six-hour satellite delivery mission at 7:13 p.m. EDT.

United Launch Alliance, the rocket's maker and operator, reported all was going well during the first hour of the climb to orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Riding atop the 197-foot-tall rocket was a suite of Air Force communications and experimental satellites.

The next launch from Florida's Space Coast is set for Monday, April 16. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is to carry a NASA planet-hunting telescope into Earth orbit. A 30-second launch window opens at 6:32:07 p.m. EDT.

SpaceX Falcon 9 launch scheduled for April 16

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