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Sorry, rocket fans: Delta IV launch from Vandenberg postponed again

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.

The much-anticipated launch of a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base has been pushed back, again, by at least a week.

The United Launch Alliance tweeted Friday morning that the launch would go forward no earlier than Jan. 6, after previously pushing it back to no earlier than Dec. 30.

“The ULA carrying the mission will launch no earlier than Sun., Jan. 6, 2019,” the tweet, posted at 8:17 a.m., reads. “The mission will launch from Space Launch Complex-6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.”

The Delta IV launch has been delayed multiple times, including one postponement for a hydrogen leak and another for high winds.

The rocket will carry a top-secret payload from the National Reconnaissance Office for a mission dubbed NROL-71.

If and when the rocket gets off the ground, onlookers should have a show in the evening sky as the rocket rises from the Santa Barbara County coast over the ocean.

To watch an overview of the mission and video of the Dec. 19 launch attempt, click here.

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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Matt Fountain is The San Luis Obispo Tribune’s courts and investigations reporter. A San Diego native, Fountain graduated from Cal Poly’s journalism department in 2009 and cut his teeth at the San Luis Obispo New Times before joining The Tribune as a crime and breaking news reporter in 2014.


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