Delta IV Heavy Rocket Launches From Vandenberg AFB

  • Aug 30, 2013 7:35pm GMT

Vandenberg AFB, CA – The largest rocket to ever be launched from Vandenberg AFB had a successful liftoff from the launch complex there on Wednesday.

The Delta IV Heavy rocket, designed by Boeing and built at the United Launch Alliance in Decatur, AL, carried a $1 billion spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) into orbit.

The launch was expected to be heard and felt as far as 50 miles from the launch site, prompting Air Force officials from Vandenberg to take to Twitter and Facebook alerting the public to the upcoming launch.

The satellite, NRO says, will be able to detect details on the ground so minute, such as the make and model of a car, that it will be an invaluable tool for surveillance unlike anything else in orbit. Further details of the satellite are classified.

Photo courtesy US Air Force