Defense satellite launches from California coast

NASA Orion Test Flight
In this photo provided by NASA, the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy Rocket with NASA’s Orion spacecraft mounted atop, lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 37 at 7:05 a.m. EST, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Florida. NASA's new Orion spacecraft made a "bull's-eye" Pacific splashdown Friday following a dramatic journey 3,604 miles beyond Earth. The achievement opens a new era of human exploration to put people on Mars. The unmanned, 4½-hour test flight set at least one record: flying farther and faster than any capsule built for humans since the Apollo moon program. (AP Photo/NASA, Bill Ingalls)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, California (AP) — A U.S. defense satellite has launched from California’s central coast.

An Atlas V rocket carrying a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office lifted off shortly after 7 p.m. Friday from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

A major storm that brought rain, heavy clouds and gusty winds through California delayed the launch on Thursday.

The storm had exited the region by Friday evening, providing a clear window for the launch. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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