Atlas V Lofts National Security Payload

An Atlas V rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral on Thursday, April 10. It was the 45th Atlas V launch since the inaugural flight in 2002. (Photo: United Launch Alliance, LLC)

A powerful Atlas V rocket has launched a national security satellite to orbit.

Ray Johnson, Aerospace vice president for Space Launch Operations, issued the following statement: “This is Ray Johnson on Thursday, April 10, and I’m very pleased to announce the successful launch of Atlas V and its NROL-67 payload. The vehicle lifted off of Space Launch Complex 41 here at the Cape right at the opening of the window this afternoon at 1:45 ET (10:45 a.m. PT). The countdown was one of the smoothest countdowns that I have ever participated in. The flight was also without any issues or anomaly. The Atlas team has done an outstanding job of supporting two launches in one week. The successful launch last week of DMSP from Vandenberg on Thursday, and also this launch today one week later — a truly exceptional accomplishment by the Atlas team. Thank you.”