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Spooky! Super-Secret CLIO Satellite Goes Into Orbit

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A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carries the CLIO satellite into space from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Tuesday.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carries the CLIO satellite into space from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Tuesday.John Raoux / AP

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A hush-hush U.S. government satellite was launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Tuesday atop an Atlas 5 rocket. The Atlas 5 lifted off at 8:10 p.m. ET through a dark and cloudy sky after several weather-related delays. United Launch Alliance, which is behind the Atlas 5, oversaw the mission to launch the CLIO satellite, built by Lockheed-Martin.

Officials released no information about CLIO's mission, nor for which government agency it was sent into space. Some have speculated that the satellite will be used for classified communications, while others say it may conduct visual or electronic surveillance of other satellites.

— The Associated Press and NBC News

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