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Apr 3, 2012 8:11 PM by Matt Stafford

Rocket carrying secret payload launches from California

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) - A rocket carrying a classified payload has launched from the California coast.

Liftoff occurred shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday from the Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Launch of the Delta IV rocket was delayed nearly a week as engineers worked to fix an issue with the upper stage engine.

The National Reconnaissance Office has kept mum about the purpose of the satellite. The agency oversees the nation's constellation of spy satellites.

Intelligence analysts think it's a radar imaging satellite capable of seeing at night and through bad weather.

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