Get ready to blast off!
"Vandenberg Air Force Base is set to launch the country's largest unmanned rocket, the Delta IV Heavy, at 1:08 p.m. (PST) today. According to United Launch Alliance (the company who made the rocket), the craft will be carrying a payload from 'the National Reconnaissance Office.' The LA Times reports that this is likely to be a 'a high-powered $1-billion spy satellite,' that can take pictures 'detailed enough to distinguish the make and model of an automobile thousands of miles below.'"
As early as Thursday afternoon, the massive rocket will lift off from the base's Space Launch Complex 6, leaving a thick white plume over the Pacific Ocean as it cuts across the afternoon sky. At 235 feet tall, it's so large that base officials have studied whether the thunderous blastoff will shatter windows nearby.
"We got the word out to people, so they don't think it's an earthquake," said Lt. Ann K. Blodzinski, an Air Force spokeswoman. "Even if you don't see it, you're definitely going to feel it. It's significantly more powerful than our typical launches at Vandenberg."