Government rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A rocket carrying a secret U.S. government payload successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the central California coast Thursday night.
The 19-story Atlas V rocket blasted off at 11:15 p.m. toward a low-Earth orbit. The rocket is carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. The agency, which operates intelligence-gathering satellites, did not release details about the cargo.
The recent swath of cold weather in California threatened a delay for the launch, but it took off during its launch window, marking the second time an Atlas V rocket has launched from the West Coast this year.
Atlas V rockets have launched 77 times from the Vandenberg base and from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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