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California spy satellite launch scrubbed for fourth time

December 20, 2018

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — The launch of a spy satellite from a Central California coastal base has been scrubbed for the fourth time in two weeks.

A hydrogen leak in one engine halted the launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base Wednesday evening less than 10 minutes before liftoff. The next launch window starts at 5:31 p.m. Thursday.

Launches from the base northwest of Los Angeles can light up the sky for hundreds of miles.

The launch also was scrubbed Tuesday because of high winds and on Dec. 7 and Dec. 8 because of technical problems.

The three-booster Delta IV Heavy rocket that will carry the satellite was built by United Launch Alliance, a conglomerate of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. ULA has launched 27 payloads for the National Reconnaissance Office over the past 12 years.

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