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The Russian Hare

New intel satellite launched in California

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A signals intercepter for the U.S. spy satellite agency was successfully launched into a high orbit over the top of the world by an Atlas 5 rocket on Saturday night.

Liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California came at 10:49:47 p.m. local time (1:49:47 a.m. EDT; 0549:47 GMT Sunday) after an eight-hour countdown.

Rapidly departing the launch pad and powering to the southeast on a coast-hugging trajectory, the 197-foot-tall rocket burned four solid-fuel boosters in addition to its kerosene-fed main engine for 2.4 million pounds of thrust to dazzle in a spectacular ascent.


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