Atlas V launches with CLIO payload

This evening a United Launch Alliance Atlas V lifted off with a secret payload called CLIO for the Department of Defense.  Details of the orbit or what the payload is for has not been made available.  The launch was delayed several times due to weather constrains but those cleared allowing a liftoff to occur at 8:10pm EDT which was right at the end of the window available for today’s attempt.

CLIO was successfully deployed from the Atlas’ centaur upper stage nearly three hours after launch high above the eastern Indian Ocean. The spacecraft’s successful 11:01 p.m. separation will be followed over the next few weeks by maneuvering CLIO to it’s home in geostationary orbit.

Below are screen grabs from the launch webcast.

 

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