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 payload launches from Calif.

Related Stories

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.

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.

Recommended for you

Galaxy murder mystery

January 17, 2017

It's the big astrophysical whodunnit. Across the Universe, galaxies are being killed and the question scientists want answered is, what's killing them?

ALMA reveals sun in new light

January 17, 2017

New images from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) reveal stunning details of our Sun, including the dark, contorted center of an evolving sunspot that is nearly twice the diameter of the Earth.

Astrophysicists discover dimming of binary star

January 16, 2017

A team of University of Notre Dame astrophysicists led by Peter Garnavich, professor of physics, has observed the unexplained fading of an interacting binary star, one of the first discoveries using the University's Sarah ...

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.