H-VANDENBERG AFB

Apr 3, 2012 10:00 PM by Ariel Wesler

Delta IV rocket lifts off with top secret satellite

After a couple of delays, a Delta IV rocket lifted off without a hitch from Vandenberg Air Force Base Tuesday. Lift off was just before 4:15 this afternoon.

The rocket was supposed to launch on March 29, but it was delayed so engineers could fix an issue with the upper stage engine.

The Delta IV medium rocket is carrying a spy satellite from the National Reconnaissance Office, based in Virginia. That agency monitors the nation's network of U.S. spy satellites.

Officials say the details of the mission are classified but, it will help various government agencies improve national security by monitoring other parts of the world.

The Delta IV rocket was built by the United Launch Alliance. This was the first of four launches by the National Reconnaissance Office this year. The next two launches will be at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The final one will be back at Vandenberg toward the end of year.

Vandenberg's next scheduled launch is a Minuteman III missile test flight on April 10.

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