Meteor seen across the state on Wednesday night

Meteor seen across the state on Wednesday night

Kenneth Drake
December 21, 2018

The secret NROL-71 reconnaissance satellite was scheduled to lift off Wednesday evening (Dec. 19) atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

It's the fourth time the launch was postponed in the past two weeks. Was it a rocket launch, a fireball, or maybe even the work of aliens?

The launch was tentatively reset for 5:31 p.m. Thursday.

The NROL-17 launch had to be put off until December 30 at the earliest so that United Launch Alliance could address the Delta 4 Heavy rocket's accumulation of excess hydrogen.

SpaceX Christmas delivery arrives at space station
The establishment of the agency aims to reduce the cost of the space transport and establish the human habitation on Mars house. As of Thursday night, there was no word from SpaceX or Port Canaveral as to when the rocket booster will be towed in from sea.

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

All systems are a go - as the Delta IV Heavy Rocket prepares for lift-off tonight at 5:49 pm. "As the nation's premiere launch provider, the teams have worked diligently to ensure continued mission success, delivering our customer's payloads to the precise orbits requested". According to a National Weather Service in the Bay Area tweet (which the Eureka office retweeted) at 6:50 p.m., "Still not 100% certain, but evidence is growing the object seen was a meteor".

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