Atlas V rocket launches from Cape Canaveral

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - United Launch Alliance declared Thursday's mission for the National Reconnaissance Office a success, Local 6 news partner Florida Today reported.

"Congratulations to all of our mission partners on (Thursday's) successful launch of the NRO-33 mission," Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president for Atlas and Delta programs, said in a statement. "The ULA team is honored to deliver another critical national security asset to orbit together with the NRO Office of Space Launch and the Air Force."

An Atlas V rocket delivered the NRO satellite to orbit, blasting off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 9:09 a.m.

Sponnick also congratulated ULA for completing its second launch in six days, the second time this year the company has pulled off two launches within a week.

"Successfully launching at this temp is a testament to the teams' focus on mission success, one-launch-at-a-time, and continuous improvement of our launch processes," he said.

ULA's next launch is planned July 1 from California, of a NASA science satellite. That is expected to be followed by two more military launches from the Cape in late July.

The Cape's next sheduled rocket launch is June 11, by a SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying six satellites for Orbcomm Inc. Technical problems postponed the mission's launch earler this month.

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