VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A rocket carrying a national security payload was successfully launched Sunday from a base on California’s central coast, Air Force officials said.

The Minotaur 1 rocket took off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 4:26 a.m. amid clear skies, said Col. Richard Boltz, 30th Space Wing commander and the mission’s leader. The launch, which was scheduled for Saturday, had been delayed by a day because of power problems with the rocket’s safety equipment.

The four-stage, solid-fueled rocket was carrying a research and development spacecraft for the National Reconnaissance Office, but officials gave no further details on the craft’s purpose or cost.

More than 200 people from the 30th Space Wing, Orbital Sciences Corp., the Space and Missile Systems Center and the National Reconnaissance Office collaborated on the project.

“I am extremely proud of the large group of professionals that came together to launch this rocket,” Boltz said in a statement.

The 63-foot Minotaur 1 is among the smallest of the many rockets that launch from the base 160 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

The rocket is assembled from retired Minuteman stages combined with technology from Orbital Sciences. It can carry up to 1,278 pounds to low-earth orbit.

The launch was the 20th Minotaur mission since the first one launched from Vandenberg in 2000.

The next Vandenberg launch will be a Taurus rocket, also made by Orbital Sciences, scheduled to carry a NASA observation satellite into orbit on Feb. 23.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (78)
  1. kclond says:

    Based on what we have been taught, this looks like another JET CONDENSATION TRAIL over California to me. Whatever you do, keep looking up and don’t look at the inflation and drop in currency value. If it was not for the value of food we grow and export our currency would now be worth nothing. The threat at this point comes from our declines from within and our inability to make our own things. Thank God for food production. Pray that nothing ever goes wrong with our hybrid seed. Laws will be passed against that too, just like oil from the gulf.

  2. strongtea maker says:


    There is a Chinese Army Securiety Team set up in the top floor of the White House where Obama channels all the secrets he hears. In the White House today, there is a new securiety classification NORAN, Not for American Nationals. Also the highest level of US securiety now is a FFEO clearence, For Foriener Enimies Only

    1. Johnson says:

      Ur an idiot. None of what you stated is true.

      1. chris says:

        He is obviously trying to sound stupid on purpose. Then he will try to pawn himself off as a conservative so that he can make people think that conservatives are nuts. Idiot is an appropriate name for him.

      2. Bristol Creams says:

        actually, Johnson and Chris…it’s actually pretty clever. The true idiots are those who cede the propaganda game to the media complex. My advice to you is this: stop repeating the propaganda that you have heard on television and talk radio and START CREATING YOUR OWN! You may soon discover your power over lesser minds, unless your mind is so weak that you are unable to escape the fate of being manipulated. GOOD LUCK, monkeys!

    2. Krit Austin says:

      All so called Top Secret Military tech & information is owned by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, (PLO), as when Clinton needed funding for his 1996 Reelection Campaign he gave the PLO the Rocket Tech they needed to launch their aircraft. Like is our first Black President Clinton, Obama’s Mentor, Obama has recently met with Hu, like in Hu’s his Sugar Daddy, to get financing for our first Muslim President’s Re-Election Campaign. Obama is a true communist and is owned by the ChiComs!

  3. Ragnar D says:

    I would NOT be surprised if what Johnson said was true.
    Can’t make an omelet without breaking a few shell’s don’t ya know…

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