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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, CALIF. — A powerful rocket carrying a National Reconnaissance Office satellite is expected to be launched into orbit Wednesday from the California coast.
The 235-foot Delta IV Heavy rocket is scheduled to lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 10:52 a.m., according to United Launch Alliance.
The rocket is set to send a classified spacecraft into orbit for the NRO, which is in charge of U.S. intelligence-gathering satellites.
Air Force security and police have closed nearby locations as a precaution.
Itís the second time that a Delta IV Heavy rocket will be launched from Vandenberg. In January 2011, a sound wave as loud as a freight train swept over nearby Lompoc, a town of about 43,000. Some people reported hearing the rocketís roar as far away as 50 miles.
United Launch Alliance is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. and The Boeing Co. to provide space launch services to the U.S. government with their Atlas and Delta rocket programs.