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Atlas V rocket launches from Cape Canaveral

Rocket blasts off with quartet of NASA science satellites

11pm Atlas 5 Live Shot
11pm Atlas 5 Live Shot

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A 20-story Atlas V rocket blasted off Thursday night with a quartet of NASA science satellites.

The rocket launched on time as planned at 10:44 p.m. Thursday, with 80 percent favorable weather.

Four identical observatories comprising NASA's $1.1 billion Magnetospheric Multiscale mission are stacked on top of the rocket.

The mission will spend two years studying "magnetic reconnection," a process in which magnetic fields interact, break apart and reform, releasing bursts of energy.