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.


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