Vandenberg AFB launching Delta IV rocket

Watch a Delta IV rocket launch a secret satellite to space

Although it occurred more than two days later than originally planned, Vandenberg Air Force Base launched its first rocket of 2018 Friday without a hitch. The Delta IV rocket was supposed to take off today at 4PM ET, but ULA said it's working on a technical issue that's delaying the launch.

ULA was expecting to launch at 1:55 p.m., but the anomalies kept pushing the rocket launch back. The Delta IV medium rocket will carry a national security payload designed, built and operated by the NRO, the agency said. "My honest thanks to the entire ULA team and our mission partners at the NRO and U.S. Air Force who made this, our 27th NRO launch, possible".

The first launch of the year was a success for United Launch Alliance (ULA) after a week that included several delays due to winds and a mechanism malfunction.

With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation's most experienced and reliable launch service provider.

The mission - dubbed NROL-47 - is classified, so we don't know much about the payload and what it'll be used for once in orbit.

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Last month, a SpaceX rocket launch from Vandenburg during the sunset created a shimmering streak across the sky.

Thursday morning's weather report from the 30th Space Wing showed an 80 percent chance of favorable conditions, a considerable improvement over the previous day's 40 percent. Officials are hopeful the weather will cooperate this time. As a classified mission, information about the satellite and its orbit is limited.

The launch will happen at Space Launch Complex-6, which sits about 140 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. The commercially developed EELV program supports the full range of government mission requirements, while delivering on schedule and providing significant cost savings over the legacy launch systems.

"We are proud to provide this national defence capability and every Team V member involved has tirelessly worked to ensure the launch is safe and successful".

You can get a close-up view of Vandenberg launches at a nearby public viewing area.

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