The skies over northern Santa Barbara County lit up with some spectacular tell-tale contrails of a missile launch earlier this week after a top-secret Vandenberg Air Force Base operation. Just after 8 p.m. Tuesday night, a 20-story-tall Delta 4 rocket blasted off for outer space to deliver a super-secret spy satellite into orbit at the behest of the government’s National Reconnaissance Office. The launch marked the first West Coast mission for the new-fangled Delta 4, which was developed as part of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program, a government-sanctioned attempt to reduce the costs and various difficulties of getting satellites into orbit.
Originally published 12:00 p.m., June 29, 2006
Updated 3:10 p.m., July 20, 2006
Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.