Earth Imaging Journal: Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Satellite Imagery
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The NROL-15 spy satellite took off on June 29, 2012, from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

On June 29, 2012, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) launched a classified satellite from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard the world’s most powerful rocket. The satellite rode a towering Delta 4-Heavy booster equipped with new RS-68A first-stage engines, the most powerful liquid hydrogen rocket engines ever built, according to their manufacturers, Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne.

The new RS-68A engines are each capable of generating 702,000 pounds of thrust—36,000 more pounds of thrust than its predecessor. Three of the new rocket engines made their space launch debut in the June 29 Delta 4-Heavy flight by rocket provider United Launch Alliance.

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