​Atlas 5 rocket carries new GPS satellite into space

August 2, 2014 12:32 PM

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​Atlas 5 rocket carries new GPS satellite into space

Lighting up the night sky, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket boosted a $245 million Global Positioning System navigation satellites into orbit Friday night, the seventh of 12 upgraded navigation beacons joining a globe-spanning constellation serving military and civilian users alike.

The towering Atlas 5's Russian-built RD-180 first-stage engine thundered to life with a rush of bright orange flame at 11:23 p.m. EDT, generating 860,200 pounds of thrust. An instant later, the rocket began slowly climbing away from pad 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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