Mysterious light seen in California sky prompts speculation

Cristina Cross
December 21, 2018

ULA did not immediately give an official reason for the delay.

Who knows? Maybe there'll be another sunset fireball to celebrate a successful Delta 4 Heavy launch - after what are now four postponements.

But by Thursday morning, the private space launch company announced it had delayed the mission again for a fifth time due to elevated hydrogen level within the port booster engine's section. But controllers called the attempt off about 10 minutes before the planned launch, after noticing an issue with the rocket.

The United Launch Alliance rocket carrying a reconnaissance satellite had been set to take off at 5:44 p.m.

The launch was scrubbed once already this week - on Tuesday afternoon - because of high winds in the area.

SpaceX cancels first US national security mission
Blue Origin, too, said it meant to fly the tenth mission of its New Shepard Launch system from West Texas. It will now try again to launch the Air Force GPS III satellite tomorrow, Wednesday, December 19.

Launches from Vandenberg, especially those carried out after sundown, typically create impressive aerial light shows over Southern California and the southwestern United States.

All systems are a go - as the Delta IV Heavy Rocket prepares for lift-off tonight at 5:49 pm.

ULA has carried out 27 launches for the National Reconnaissance Office over the past 12 years.

Many in California are used to seeing unusual bursts of light following SpaceX rocket launches but that does not appear to be the case this time.

It has not been 100 percent identified, however "evidence is growing the object seen was a meteor", according to the National Weather Service Bay Area.

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