Rocket Carrying Spy Satellite Successfully Launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base

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A rocket carrying a national defense satellite was launched Friday from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

At 7:19 p.m., the Atlas V rocket blasted from the military base just north of Santa Barbara, according to the United Launch Alliance, which built the rocket system.

With more than 2 million pounds of liftoff thrust, it was the most powerful Atlas launch system ever used in California, said United Launch Vice President Jim Sponnick.

Liftoff was originally scheduled for Thursday, but the powerful storm that walloped California forced a one-day delay.

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