US spy satellite launched from California

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — The US National Reconnaissance Office launched a classified satellite into orbit aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta 4 Heavy rocket on Saturday.

The NROL-91 spy satellite lifted off at 3:25 p.m. from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Santa Barbara County, California.

It was the last launch of a Delta 4 from the West Coast. Additional launches from Florida are planned before the Deltas are replaced by ULA’s next-generation Vulcan Centaur rockets.

The Delta IV Heavy configuration was first launched in December 2004. This was the 387th flight of a Delta rocket since 1960 and the 95th and final launch from Vandenberg.

The National Reconnaissance Office is the government agency in charge of developing, building, launching, and maintaining America’s spy satellites that provide intelligence to lawmakers, the intelligence community, and the Department of Defense.