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Atlas V rocket blasts off from Vandenberg AFB

Noozhawk.com

An Atlas V rocket roars off the launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Wednesday. The booster was carrying a secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office.
An Atlas V rocket roars off the launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Wednesday. The booster was carrying a secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office.

An Atlas V rocket sailed away from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Wednesday for a mission to lift its clandestine cargo into space while also honoring a fallen firefighter.

The United Launch Alliance booster, standing 190 feet tall, blasted off at 9:49 a.m. from Space Launch Complex-3 on South Base.

The booster carried a top-secret spacecraft for the National Reconnaissance Office into space.

Results of the mission were not immediately available as the flight to deliver the spacecraft continued.

The rocket also carried a small memorial to remember Ryan Osler, a member of the Ventura County Fire Department.

Osler died en route to the Canyon Fire last September. Along with his name and years he lived, the memorial notes “Friend, Father and Fallen Hero.”

The mission marked the 70th Atlas V launch since the booster’s inaugural mission in 2002.

Noozhawk.com is a Santa Barbara-based news website. North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at jscully@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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