Range Tracking

Starting the Day with National Defense

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A bright and hot early morning saw Sam and I watching the launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying a classified payload – spy satellite in street lingo – for the National Reconnaissance Office from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The usual culprits played a hand in diminishing the quality of the images; the sun angle for this time of year along with the great distance to the pad coupled with the associated haze, again due to distance. Regardless, it was fun to see and Sam had a great time running around even if he is not particularly keen on the rumble from the Russian-built RD-180 rocket engine that powers the Atlas V core stage, which unnerves him a bit sort of like thunder does. View the gallery of images at http://www.lunarcabin.com/Rocket_Launches/nrol33.html

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