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Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

  • VOA News

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

The launch of a military satellite this morning provided a spectacular light show over the skies of southern Florida.

The Atlas V rocket blast off at 6:18 a.m. Wednesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying a military communications satellite.

After a brief technical delay of 19 minutes, the massive spacecraft roared into the pre-dawn skies riding 2.5 million pounds of thrust.

As dawn broke, the exhaust from the rocket mixed with the sunlight, creating an eerie glow as the satellite was hurled into a planned orbit of over 22,000 miles over the equator.

On top of the rocket was a Navy satellite that will allow easier and more secure communication capabilities for combat troops. The network is expected to be operational in late 2016 or early 2017.

The launch was delayed by two days due to concerns about Tropical Storm Erika.

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