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It’s a go! Delta IV rocket ready to launch from Vandenberg on Tuesday

Watch a SpaceX rocket launch light up night sky in Pismo Beach

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Sunday, October 7, 2018, as seen in this view from Pismo Beach. The booster of the rocket made a return landing at the base for the first time.
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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Sunday, October 7, 2018, as seen in this view from Pismo Beach. The booster of the rocket made a return landing at the base for the first time.

Update, Tuesday, 12:30 p.m.:

The launch has been scrapped for Tuesday due to high winds, and is now scheduled to take place Wednesday. For more information, check out our new story here: https://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article223269215.html.

Original story:

Officials gave the Delta IV Heavy rocket a “unanimous go” for its launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Tuesday.

After conducting a Launch Readiness Review on Monday, officials said the United Launch Alliance (ULA) rocket will be ready to launch Tuesday at about 5:57 p.m.

The rocket will launch a top-secret payload — a National Reconnaissance Office spacecraft — into orbit for a mission dubbed NROL-71, according to previous Tribune reports.

“We are proud to launch this critical payload in support of our nation’s national security mission,” ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs Gary Wentz said in a news release. “As the nation’s premiere launch provider, the teams have worked diligently to ensure continued mission success, delivering our customer’s payloads to the precise orbits requested.”

The team tried twice to launch the rocket earlier this month, both times were foiled by technical glitches.

Air Force weather forecasters predict a 20 percent chance of favorable conditions for liftoff on Tuesday, according to the latest release. The only concern for a launch weather rule violation will be winds.

You can watch the live countdown and launch on ULA’s website starting at 9 a.m.

A SpaceX rocket carrying 64 small satellites lifted off from California. The Falcon 9 blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base arcing over the Pacific west of Los Angeles as it headed toward space.



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Kaytlyn Leslie writes about business and development for The Tribune. Hailing from Nipomo, she also covers city governments and happenings in the South County region, including Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and Grover Beach. She joined The Tribune in 2013 after graduating from Cal Poly with her journalism degree.


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