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Atlas V Rocket Launch of Classified US Payload Set for March 1

© Photo : NASA/Kim ShiflettAtlas V
Atlas V - Sputnik International
ULA announced that the launch of a top-secret US government payload atop an Atlas V rocket has been scheduled for March 1.

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. - Sputnik International
Science & Tech
NASA Launches Atlas V Rocket With Revolutionary Weather Satellite Into Space
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The launch of a top-secret US government payload atop an Atlas V rocket has been scheduled for March 1, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced in a press release.

"NROL-79 will mark the 70th Atlas V launch and the 35th in the 401 configuration since the rocket’s inaugural mission in 2002," the release stated.

NROL refers to launches by the National Reconnaissance Office, a US intelligence agency that operates spy satellites.

ULA, a joint venture between Lockheed-Martin and Boeing, uses different models of Atlas V rocket such as the 401 configuration for commercial space launches.

The two-stage Atlas V depends on a Russian made RD-180 engine to power the first stage and a US-made RL10 engine for its second stage.

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