VIDEO: Rocket successfully blasts off from Cape Canaveral

Still frame from video provided by NBC News

A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket successfully blasted off from Cape Canaveral Wednesday evening.

The rocket will deploy the military’s highest capacity communications satellite ever, the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-8). It features advancements in its internal electronics that nearly double the bandwidth the craft will provide to soldiers, ships, aircraft and drones.

The Wideband Global SATCOM is an essential element of the U.S. military’s ability to communicate around the world.

The 900,000-pound, 217-foot tall rocket launched at 6:53 p.m. The satellite was released almost 42 minutes after takeoff. It will remain in orbit at an undisclosed location over 20,000 miles above the equator.

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