A huge unmanned rocket carrying a secret new spy satellite for the United States roared into space Sunday (Nov. 21) to deliver what one reconnaissance official has touted as "the largest satellite in the world" into orbit.
The giant booster – a Delta 4 Heavy rocket – blasted off at 5:58 p.m. EST (2258 GMT) from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida carrying a classified payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. [Photo of the spy satellite's dazzling night launch]
"This mission helps to ensure that vital NRO resources will continue to bolster our national defense," said Air Force Brig. Gen. Ed Wilson, commander 45th Space Wing, after the successful launch.
The satellite, called NROL-32, launched after a series of delays from technical glitches. The most recent glitch, a pair of faulty temperature sensors, thwarted a Nov. 19 launch attempt.
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