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CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL – On a gloomy night and delayed by rain showers and thick threatening clouds to the very last moment of a two and a half launch window, the completely clandestine satellite known only as CLIO climbed slowly from a Cape Canaveral launch pad atop the thunderous flames of an Atlas V rocket on Tuesday evening on a mysterious mission to orbit.
Under a veil of secrecy for an unknown US government customer, the clouds cleared just enough to finally launch CLIO on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V booster at 8:10 p.m. EDT September 16, 2014 from Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
“It is an honor to work with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company and all of our mission partners to launch this very important satellite,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs, in a statement
originally posted by: alienjuggalo
a reply to: Jenisiz
Not sure how this is secret..
Myself and other media were allowed to visit the launch pad and photograph the rocket up close with the CLIO insignia emblazoned on the payload fairing, shrouding the mysterious satellite beneath.
Leading the way is our A2100, one of the most powerful flight-proven commercial spacecraft currently available. This modular geosynchronous satellite has a design life of 15 years and a flexible payload capacity ideally suited to meet the demand for commercial space systems well into the 21st century—a demand driven by growth in mobile telephony, business services, direct broadcast, internet, multimedia and broadband services.
originally posted by: stirling
This sounds more like a communications rig than a spy satellite.....but I guess they could combine the two missions if they wanted to......
My guess is military communications for the coming war with Islam.....
originally posted by: cmdrkeenkid
a reply to: stirling
Given the USA-257 number, it leads me to believe it's operated by the NRO for the NSA. Could also be drone related, but that's a second guess.
Edit to add: Since the article says it's similar to PAN (USA-207), I'll stick with those two ideas. PAN was launched in 2006, and despite being geostationary, has a habit of moving around. I'm guessing that CLIO will be something to supplement PAN.
Going by mythology, Pan would often be seen playing an instrument. Usually a flute or a lyre. Clio is not only the muse of history, but also the muse of lyre playing.