The U.S. military launched what is billed as its largest-ever spy satellite on Sunday.
A Delta IV Heavy rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 5:58 p.m. on Sunday, carrying what an Air Force press release called a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
While the Air Force did not give further detail on the mission, Bruce Carlson, director of the NRO, said in a September 13 speech that his agency would be putting â€śthe largest satellite in the worldâ€ť aboard a Delta rocket for a launch from Cape Canaveral this fall.
The NRO â€śdesigns, builds and operates the nation's reconnaissance satellitesâ€ť and services the satellite intelligence needs of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Department, according to the agencyâ€™s website.
"This mission helps to ensure that vital NRO resources will continue to bolster our national defense," said Brig. Gen. Ed Wilson, commander of the 45th Space Wing, which was in charge of the launch.