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Spectacular sight! Atlas V rocket lifts off from Central Coast early Thursday morning

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KCLU
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An Atlas V rocket lifts off from Vandenberg Space Force Base early Thursday morning.

Rocket visible hundreds of miles away.

It was a spectacular sight. A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket took off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Santa Barbara County early Thursday morning.

The United Launch Alliance rocket carried two payloads into space from Vandenberg Space Force Base.

One was a next generation weather satellite for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The second was NASA's Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test. It’s an inflatable heat shield designed to provide a more efficient way for space vehicles to re-enter the atmosphere.

The flight had originally been set for October 29, but was postponed because of a problem with a battery on the rocket. It was replaced. There was a brief delay Thursday morning, but the rocket successfully lifted off from Vandenberg at 1:49 a.m.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.