Atlas 5 launches Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
6/18/09 ~ 5:32pm

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An Atlas 5 rocket launches NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) & LCROSS lunar impactor to the moon under overcast skies June 18 at 5:32pm EDT. LRO is NASA's first mission to the moon in more than a decade and one of the first steps in the agency's plans to return humans to the moon. It will have the highest resolution camera yet sent into lunar orbit and should be able to resolve details at the Apollo and other unmanned landing sites.

LRO/LCROSS in the cleanroom

<--- WGS-2                                    PAN --->
From the press site, 4.0 miles away. The Atlas 5 slams through the cloud deck (bottom) and out of sight for good: