October 1, 2022

Photos: Falcon 9 rocket vertical on Vandenberg launch pad

SpaceX raised a Falcon 9 rocket vertical Saturday at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California after a two-day delay caused by technical and weather problems. The rocket will carry a classified payload into orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office.

Liftoff is set for 6:13 a.m. EDT (9:13 a.m. EDT; 1313 GMT) Sunday to begin SpaceX’s 14th mission of the year, and the third from Vandenberg, a military base on California’s Central Coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket will fly with a first stage booster reused from a previous NRO mission in February. The booster will return to Vandenberg for an onshore landing about eight minutes after launch, while the rocket’s second stage delivers its top secret cargo into orbit.

Read our mission preview story for more details.

A Falcon 9 rocket stands vertical on Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg Space Force Base. Credit: Gene Blevins / LA Daily news
Credit: Gene Blevins / LA Daily News
Credit: Gene Blevins / LA Daily News
Credit: Gene Blevins / LA Daily News
Credit: Gene Blevins / LA Daily News
Credit: Gene Blevins / LA Daily News

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