US launches rocket carrying spy satellite

Washington, Aug 29 (IANS): A rocket carrying a spy satellite lifted off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in the US state of California Wednesday, sources said.

The United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, announced through its Facebook and Twitter webcast that the satellite was launched on a Delta IV Heavy rocket, the largest of the kind, at 11:03 a.m. local time, Xinhua reported

However, it did not say when the satellite would enter the orbit.

The launch was named as the NROL-65 mission as it was done for the National Reconnaissance Office, which is in charge of US intelligence-gathering satellites, according to the sources in United Launch Alliance, which also developed the rocket together with the US Air Force.

Details about the satellite is not available. But a report in the Los Angeles Times said the payload in Wednesday's launch is said to be "a $1-billion high-powered spy satellite capable of snapping pictures detailed enough to distinguish the make and model of an automobile hundreds of miles below."


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