After Weeks of Delays, ULA Launches Spy Satellite From Vandenberg

Following weeks of delays, a rocket carrying a classified satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office finally launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on Saturday.

The 233-foot-tall Delta IV Heavy rocket lifted of from the Santa Barbara County base at 11:10 a.m.

The launch had been repeatedly rescheduled since Dec. 7 for reasons including a hydrogen leak, high winds and a problem with ground communication equipment. On Dec. 8, United Launch Alliance aborted an attempt just seven seconds before the scheduled liftoff.

It delayed the mission on Jan. 5 indefinitely before being given a unanimous "go" on Friday, according to ULA's website.

The group is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Details of the mission, dubbed NROL-71, were not released.

A 40 percent chance of favorable weather conditions was in the forecast on Saturday. Typically, rockets can been seen across Southern California within minutes of liftoff from the Central Coast air base.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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