Rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base

Gwen Vasquez
December 22, 2018

For now, ULA has not confirmed the reason for the scrub of the latest rocket launch.

Fingers are crossed this attempt won't be scrubbed and the launch will light up the Southern California skies once again.

India sent up a GSLV rocket with the Indian Air Force's GSAT-7A remote-sensing satellite, while Arianespace launched the French CSO-1 spy satellite from its spaceport in French Guiana with a Russian-built Soyuz rocket.

Rocket fans in California may have been disappointed by tonight's scrub of a Delta 4 Heavy launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, but they received a nice consolation prize: a fireball that left what looked like a contrail hanging in sunset skies. "The launch time is planned for 5:31 p.m. PST".

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The Delta IV Heavy consists of three Delta IV rocket cores strapped together and topped with an upper stage.

When the rocket finally launches, San Diegans near the coast could see the two boosters fall away and then the upper stage separate from the main core to continue the mission into space. It was also canceled Tuesday due to high winds at the launch site.

According to new site SpaceFlight 101: "NROL-71 is most likely a heavy Keyhole KH-11 image reconnaissance satellite". "As the nation's premiere launch provider, the teams have worked diligently to ensure continued mission success, delivering our customer's payloads to the precise orbits requested".

United Launch Alliance is a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin that launches most American classified payloads.

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