VANDENBERG AFB (CBS SF) — The U.S. Department of Defense was set to launch a new spy satellite from California, but new delays were holding up the liftoff.

The launch of a Delta IV rocket carrying the classified satellite was targeted for 2:05 p.m. PST Thursday from complex 6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base northwest of Los Angeles.

About four minutes before launch, the countdown was put on hold over an issue regarding the swing arm from the launch tower.

After delays, the new launch time was set for 4:05 p.m. PST. At T-minus 27 seconds, the launch was aborted again and scrubbed for the day.

The NROL-47 satellite from the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) was  originally meant to launch Wednesday but high winds forced a delay, according to launch provider United Launch Alliance (ULA), .

“We are ready and eager to take on this Delta launch,” said Col. Greg Wood, 30th Space Wing vice commander, in a base news release. “We are proud to provide this national defense capability and every Team V member involved has tirelessly worked to ensure the launch is safe and successful.”

Earlier this week, a classified satellite launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, apparently suffered a mission-ending failure shortly after the boost to space, falling back to Earth over the Indian Ocean.

Last month, the launch of a Space X rocket from Vandenburg during the sunset created a shimmering streak across the sky widely seen throughout Southern California.

According to, Thursday’s liftoff will be ULA’s first space mission of 2018, and its 27th overall for the NRO. ULA launched three NRO satellites in 2017.


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