Atlas 5 launches PAN
9/8/09 ~ 5:35pm

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An Atlas 5 rocket launches a secret government satellite known as PAN right on time at 5:35pm EDT September 8. The nature of this satellite has not been divulged, nor claimed by the National Reconnaissance Office or any other. The 19-story Atlas 5 rode in the 401 configuration with no solid boosters strapped on to the side, and only the power of its 860,000-lb thrust RD-180 main engine giving PAN its ride into orbit.

Photos from Playalinda Beach, 4.8 miles from the pad.

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