Delta IV Heavy from Slick Six

Classified satellite launched from Vandenberg

The largest rocket ever launched from the West Coast blasted off Thursday with a classified defense satellite on board.

The 235-foot-tall Delta IV Heavy Launch Vehicle lifted off at 1:10 p.m. local time carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office.

The launch complex used was SLC-6, which was built for the Air Force’s Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) program in the 60s and then converted for use by the Space Shuttle in the 1980s. No shuttles ever flew from Vandenberg and the MOL program was cancelled. Murdoc Online posted some pictures of a 1985 shuttle test using the Enterprise a while back.