Giant secret satellite blasts off from Cape Canaveral - FOX 13 News

Giant secret satellite blasts off from Cape Canaveral

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CAPE CANAVERAL (FOX 13) -

The space shuttle program may have ended, but it's still been a busy few days over at Cape Canaveral.  For the second time in 10 days, an unmanned rocket has blasted off with a secret payload.

Friday morning's launch was the largest rocket in the U.S. fleet -- a Delta IV, flying in what's called the 'heavy' configuration with two large boosters. 

The extra muscle was necessary to loft the classified National Reconnaissance Office satellite.  Nothing official is known about the satellite, known only as L-15, but experts suspect it's an electronic surveillance satellite headed for orbit 22,000 miles up.

The launch was delayed from earlier this week because of Tropical Storm Debby, then several times during the final countdown due to faulty valves.  But the giant orange and white rocket blasted off successfully at 9:15 a.m.

An Atlas V rocket launched another NRO satellite, also from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, last Wednesday.

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