Classified satellite launched from California base

January 21, 2011 02:04

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, California  — The largest rocket ever launched from the West Coast blasted off Thursday with a classified defense satellite on board.

The 235-foot (71.63-meter) -tall Delta IV Heavy Launch Vehicle lifted off carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office.The booster rose into the sky over California's central coast and arced over the Pacific Ocean, a spectacle visible over a wide area.

United Launch Alliance, the joint venture of rocket builders Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co., said in a statement that the launch was a success.

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