- Light fog
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A massive rocket carrying a spy satellite for the U.S. government launched from the central California coast Wednesday.
The Delta IV Heavy rocket soared off the launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles, and sped toward low-Earth orbit, officials at United Launch Alliance said.
The rocket carried a satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office, which oversees the nation's constellation of intelligence-gathering satellites. Liftoff occurred at 11:03 a.m. PDT, about 10 minutes later than planned as engineers dealt with some last-minute minor issues.
Since the mission is classified, no other details were available.
At 23 stories, the Delta IV Heavy is the largest rocket in the country. The last time it launched from Vandenberg - in 2011 - the roar of the engines shook the nearby city of Lompoc. Some people reported hearing the engine roar from 50 miles away.
This time around, the three main engines were ignited one after another to lessen the impact during liftoff.
Air Force security and police closed a nearby beach and evacuated campers as a precaution. About 200 cars lined the access road to the base and spectators gathered at other viewing spots for a glimpse of the rocket cruising through the cloudless sky.
United Launch Alliance is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. and The Boeing Co. to provide space launch services to the federal government with their Atlas and Delta rocket programs.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A week after four people died in a New York commuter train derailment, two federal lawmakers proposed Sunday that trains nationwide be…
A powerful storm that crept across the country dumped a mix of snow, freezing rain and sleet on the Mid-Atlantic region and headed northeast…
Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport is just one of numerous airports across the country experiencing flight delays and…
Fancy a pint of Pliny the Elder or Heady Topper double India pale ales, but can't find it in your neighborhood? Get out your wallet.
A gay teacher at a suburban Philadelphia Catholic high school has been fired after he applied for a New Jersey marriage license.
A couple married for just three weeks lured a man to his death with a Craigslist ad because they wanted to kill someone together, police said.
About 2,500 gathered at Pearl Harbor on Saturday to remember those killed in the 1941 Japanese attack that launched the U.S. into World War II.
Drew Magary, writer for the website Deadspin, has shared his 7-year-old daughter's Christmas wish list, which he says is completely…
A long-awaited study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a link between tainted tap water at a U.S. Marine Corps…
Happy or sad? Content or bored? And how many times did you smile yesterday? A panel of experts thinks Uncle Sam should be more in touch with…