NASA launches three military rockets

Washington, Jan 15: Three rockets blasted off Wednesday on secret missions for the US military, US space agency NASA said.

The Terrier-Orion rockets were successfully launched within a 20-second period, beginning at 4.09 a.m. EST (0909 GMT) from NASA’ s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, Xinhua quoted the space agency as saying in a statement.

The US Department of Defense has requested that NASA not provide real-time launch updates, it said.

“The launch will not be shown live on the Internet nor will launch status updates be provided on social media once the countdown begins,” according to a NASA media advisory early this week. “The NASA Visitor Center at Wallops will not be open for viewing the launch.”

Terrier-Orion is a two stage spin stabilised rocket system with a weight of about 2,900 pounds (1,315 kg), according to NASA. It can loft a 200-pound (91 kg) payload to an altitude of 200 km and an 800-pound (363 kg) payload 80 km up.