An Atlas V rocket blasts off from Vandenberg on Friday

At 7:19 p.m. on Friday, the largest rocket to ever launch from the west coast shot from Vandenberg Air Force Base into low orbit where it released a highly classified spy satellite. The Atlas V rocket, with its four solid rocket boosters and a new second stage engine design, produced around 2 million pounds of thrust that rumbled through Santa Barbara and lit the evening sky. The launch was postponed Thursday night because of bad weather. Watch a video of the show below.

“This Atlas V launch marked the last of the year and I am very proud of the teamwork that led to the success of not only today’s launch, but those that preceded,” said base commander Col. Keith Balts. “The hard work and dedication of everyone involved continues to ensure our nation’s access to space. This was especially evident by our base electricians who worked tirelessly through last night’s extreme weather to ensure power was available for launch.”


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