U.S. government launches rocket with secret payload
A rocket successfully launched from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base is carrying a secret payload from the U.S. government.
The 19-story-tall Atlas V rocket was launched around 11:15 p.m. Thursday night toward low-Earth orbit. It's carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, which operates the United States' intelligence-gathering satellites. No details about the payload have been released by the office.
A cold snap in California threatened the launch, but the rocket was able to successfully take off within moments of the opening of its launch window.
The Atlas V rocket has been launched a total of 77 times from Vandenberg and Cape Canaveral, Florida. This was the second time it was launched from the West Coast this year.