Advanced Satellite Blasts Off from Cape Canaveral: Launch Gallery

Article written: 18 Sep , 2013
Updated: 26 Apr , 2016
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Early this morning a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral in a gorgeous pre-dawn launch, sending the third Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-3) satellite for the United States Air Force to orbit. The rocket lifted off from Launch Complex-41 at 4:10 am EDT (08:10 UTC) on Wednesday, September 18, 2013. Thanks to John O’Connor from nasatech.net for sharing his beautiful launch images with Universe Today.

This launch leads the way for a second launch today: the historic Orbital Sciences Antares commercial rocket carrying the first fully functional Cygnus commercial resupply vehicle to orbit from NASA’s Wallops Island Facility on a demonstration mission bound for the International Space Station.

The AEHF-3 will provide a state-of-the-art communications system for the US military and Department of Defense.

See more launches images below:

Awaiting its mission on Space Launch Complex 41, the Atlas 5 - 531/AEHF-3 stands ready as the weather slowly cleared. Credit and copyright: John O'Connor/nasatech.net,

Awaiting its mission on Space Launch Complex 41, the Atlas 5 – 531/AEHF-3 stands ready as the weather slowly cleared. Credit and copyright: John O’Connor/nasatech.net,

As the furious vibrations shake cascades of ice off of the liquid oxygen tank the Atlas 5-531 reaches for the sky and its supersynchronous transfer orbit. Credit and copyright: John O'Connor/nasatech.net.

As the furious vibrations shake cascades of ice off of the liquid oxygen tank the Atlas 5-531 reaches for the sky and its supersynchronous transfer orbit. Credit and copyright: John O’Connor/nasatech.net.

Halfway through the lightning wires, the Atlas 5 accelerates to its rendezvous with a supersynchronous transfer orbit. Credit and copyright: John O'Connor/nasatech.net.

Halfway through the lightning wires, the Atlas 5 accelerates to its rendezvous with a supersynchronous transfer orbit. Credit and copyright: John O’Connor/nasatech.net.

Through a cloud on its way to orbit, the Atlas 5 - 531 vehicle and it AEHF-3 payload dapple the clouds with light....  Credit and copyright: John O'Connor/nasatech.net.

Through a cloud on its way to orbit, the Atlas 5 – 531 vehicle and it AEHF-3 payload dapple the clouds with light…. Credit and copyright: John O’Connor/nasatech.net.

...and come out the top, amid the night, resplendent on a seething tower of dawn and thunder. Credit and copyright: John O'Connor/nasatech.net.

…and come out the top, amid the night, resplendent on a seething tower of dawn and thunder. Credit and copyright: John O’Connor/nasatech.net.

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