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Delta IV Heavy Rocket Launches from Vandenberg AFB

A huge rocket carrying a spy satellite for the United States launched from Vandenberg Aur Force Base just after 11:00 Wednesday morning.

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 people nearby in Lompoc. Some spectators reported hearing the rocket’s roar from 50 miles away.

For the latest launch, base officials closed Jalama Beach as a precaution.

ULA is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. and The Boeing Co. to provide space launch services to the U.S. government with their Atlas and Delta rocket programs.

NewsChannel 3 cameras recorded the launch from locations nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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