Video: Delta 2 blasts off from Vandenberg

NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite blasts off aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket Saturday, launching into orbit on a three-year mission to measure moisture levels in Earth’s soils.

The spacecraft launched at 6:22 a.m. PST (9:22 a.m. EST; 1422 GMT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The Delta 2’s upper stage released SMAP in orbit approximately 420 miles above Earth less than an hour later.