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Top-secret satellite launched by US Air Force

The satellite belongs to the National Reconnaissance Office but officials declined to give further details about its purpose or its design.

rocket into airEnlarge
The US Air Force launched a top-secret rocket Wednesday carrying a spy satellite. (Bruce Weaver/AFP/Getty Images)

The US Air Force launched a top-secret rocket Wednesday carrying what is believed to be a spy satellite.

The NROL-38 reconnaissance spacecraft belongs to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), a space agency that manages US spy satellites circling Earth, reported the Huntsville Times.

The umanned Atlas rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Wednesday morning. 

The Associated Press reported that US officials have declined to give any details about the purpose of the rocket nor even when it would reach orbit.

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The launch today was the first in a series of launches of National Reconnaissance Office satellites that will take place over the next two months, reported the Christian Science Monitor.

Today's launch was supposed to occur Monday but problems with the environmental control system delayed the mission.

Earlier this month NASA received two spy telescopes from the NRO that may help the agency explore "dark energy."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/120620/top-secret-satellite-launched-us-air-force