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Space

Air Force officials launch Atlas V rocket lifting government communications satellite

9/9/2009 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (AFNS) -- Members of the 45th Space Wing launched successfully a United Launch Alliance-built Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle from Space Launch Complex 41 at 5:35 p.m. Sept. 8.

The Atlas V rocket carried a U.S. government communications satellite into space.

"This launch helps to ensure that vital communications will continue to bolster our nation's capabilities and showcases why the 45th Space Wing is the world's premiere gateway to space," said Brig. Gen. Edward L. "Ed" Bolton Jr., the 45th Space Wing commander.

"The 45th Space Wing is in the midst of a very busy launch season. We are looking forward to many more successful missions before the year's end," General Bolton said. "This is perhaps the cleanest countdown we've seen this year."

This mission was the 16th flight of an Atlas V rocket from here and the 13th launch overall this year on the Eastern Range.

"This launch was an outstanding achievement for the entire Atlas team," said Staff Sgt. Brad Tavares, an Atlas V mission assurance technician. "It makes me extremely proud to be a part of the success of this mission and I look forward to providing continued mission assurance for all future launches."



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