atlas launch_311 reuters.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
An unmanned Atlas 5 rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral Saturday putting the first satellite of the Pentagon's new missile-warning system into orbit.
The satellite is intended to provide the US military with early notice of missile launches and other reconnaissance services.
In addition to scanning for missile launches, the satellite has instruments that can focus in on areas of interest for tactical reconnaissance.
This is the first of four such satellites that are expected to be launched over the next five years.