WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Three suborbital rockets blasted off on Wednesday morning on secret missions for the U.S. military, U.S. 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, the space agency said in a statement.
The U.S. 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 stabilized rocket system with a weight of about 2,900 pounds (1,315 kilograms), according to NASA. It can loft a 200-pound (91 kilograms) payload to an altitude of 200 kilometers and an 800-pound (363 kilograms) payload 80 kilometers up.