NEAR LOMPOC (CBSLA) – A rocket carrying a spy satellite launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base Friday afternoon after being delayed a day due to technical issues.

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket lifted off at 2:11 p.m. It had been scheduled to launch Thursday, but a problem with the ground system valve forced a one-day delay, with a window for the launching opening at 1 p.m. Friday. The launch was then delayed by about an hour due to a ground system helium issue.

United Launch Alliance, which managed the launch, tweeted that the Delta was “ripping the sky at incredible speed.”

The rocket is carrying a National Reconnaissance Office spy satellite, with the mission dubbed NROL-47. It marked the 27th NRO launch by United Launch Alliance, which is a Colorado-based aerospace partnership between Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

On Dec. 22, Hawthorne-based SpaceX launched a rocket from Vandenberg just after sunset, creating an aerial spectacle witnessed by thousands.

The launch in the setting sun created a shining streak that was widely seen throughout Southern California and prompted puzzlement and even concern. Cars pulled over on freeways so drivers could take pictures.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was carrying 10 satellites for Iridium Communications.

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