Beautiful liftoff of the Atlas-5 rocket from Cape Canaveral. Picture from Spaceflightnow.com
The Atlas-5 is the Energizer Bunny of rockets. This launch yesterday from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral marks the 4th launch in just 4 months of this class of booster. The next launch will be in May, marking 5 launches in just 6 months. Also, the Atlas-5 series seems to be remarkably free from major malfunctions. Each of the last 4 launches went off during their first opening of the launch windows.
Yesterday's launch placed a new SBIRS GOES2 spy satellite into orbit, This satellites main purpose is to alert the US military of any military missile launches. Considering the continuing missile advancements of Iran and North Korea, it's only common sense to keep a VERY close eye on these belligerent countries which continue to breathe out threatenings of destruction for the United States and Israel.
Great article on the satellite and the Atlas-5 rocket at Spaceflight Now: http://www.spaceflightnow.com/atlas/av037/#.UUnAkBzzeGO