Atlas V rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral

United Launch Alliance launched two spacecraft into orbit aboard an Atlas V rocket on behalf of the Air Force Saturday evening.

The lifted off at 7:13 p.m. from pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

One of the spacecraft being launched is a Continuous Broadcast Augmenting SATCOM, whose mission is "to augment existing military satellite communications capabilities and broadcast military data continuously through space-based, satellite communications relay links," the company said.

The other spacecraft is called an EAGLE platform, which ULA describes as:

Primary mission objective for the EAGLE platform is to demonstrate a maneuverable ESPA based space vehicle design which can accommodate up to six hosted or deployable payloads in GEO, and can be cost effectively replicated for multiple payload missions to either a GEO, LEO or GTO orbit. EAGLE experiments will demonstrate enhanced capabilities in space system anomaly resolution and the capability to supplement ground based space situational awareness assets from a geosynchronous platform. EAGLE experiments will also provide new technologies to detect and identify system anomalies such as space weather events and characterize collision events due to micrometeorites.

This mission will mark the 77th launch of an Atlas V rocket since the inaugural launch in 2002.

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