Rocket carrying spy satellite launches from Calif. (Update)

August 28, 2013

A huge rocket carrying a spy satellite for the United States has launched from the central California coast.

United Launch Alliance says liftoff occurred Wednesday morning from Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

The 23-story Delta IV Heavy—the largest rocket in the country—carried a satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office, which operates the nation's system of intelligence-gathering satellites.

Since the mission is classified, no other details were available.

It's the second time this type of rocket has launched from the West Coast base. The first occurred in 2011 and shook the nearby city of Lompoc. Some spectators reported hearing the rocket's roar from 50 miles away.

For the latest launch, base officials closed a nearby beach as a precaution.

Explore further: Rocket with secret satellite launched from Calif.

Related Stories

Delta IV heavy blasts off from California

January 21, 2011

In an impressive show of rocket power, a United Space Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket launched on Thursday afternoon with a classified spy satellite from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Rocket launches from California coast

April 15, 2011

A rocket carrying a national security payload has been successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on California's central coast.

Recommended for you

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Ceres image: The lonely mountain

August 25, 2015

NASA's Dawn spacecraft spotted this tall, conical mountain on Ceres from a distance of 915 miles (1,470 kilometers).

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.