Photos: Atlas 5 rocket lifts off with U.S. military’s X-37B spaceplane

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Launching the sixth mission of the U.S. military’s super-secret X-37B spaceplane program, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifted off Sunday morning from Cape Canaveral and successfully delivered its clandestine cargo to orbit.

The 197-foot-tall (60-meter) Atlas 5 rocket launched from pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 9:14 a.m. EDT (1314 GMT) Sunday, a day later than planned after gusty winds scrubbed a launch attempt Saturday.

Riding the power of its Russian-made RD-180 main engine, the Atlas 5 flew in a rarely-used configuration with an enlarged payload shroud and no solid rocket boosters. Sunday’s launch was just the seventh time that particular Atlas 5 configuration flew among the the 84 Atlas 5 missions overall to date.

Read our full launch story for details.

The imagery below comes from ULA’s launch highlights video, and from ULA and Spaceflight Now photographers stationed around Cape Canaveral to cover Sunday’s mission.

Credit: Alex Polimeni / Spaceflight Now
Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: Alex Polimeni / Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni / Spaceflight Now
Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: Alex Polimeni / Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni / Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni / Spaceflight Now

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