LOS ANGELES, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- A massive rocket carrying a spy satellite on Wednesday lifted off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in the U.S. state of California, said sources from the United Launch Alliance.
The United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, announced at its Facebook and Twitter webcast that the satellite was launched on a Delta IV Heavy rocket, the largest of the kind in the States, at 11:03 a.m. PDT, local time. It failed to say when the satellite would enter the orbit.
The launch was named as the NROL-65 mission as it was done for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which is in charge of U. S. intelligence-gathering satellites, to support national defense, according to the United Launch Alliance, which also developed the rocket together with the U.S. Air Force.
Further details are not available about the satellite. A report in the Los Angeles Times, however, said the payload in Wednesday's launch is said to be "a $1-billion high-powered spy satellite capable of snapping pictures detailed enough to distinguish the make and model of an automobile hundreds of miles below."