Astronomers say mysterious light in the sky across California probably a meteor

Lick Observatory's James Lick telescope

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. But controllers called the attempt off about 10 minutes before the planned launch, after noticing an issue with the rocket.

There was some initial speculation that the lights could be related to a scheduled rocket launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base, but that launch was scrubbed early Wednesday evening.

December 30 will be the earliest possible date for the sixth attempting at launching the 233-foot-tall rocket, which is set to deploy a classified satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.

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The launch was scrubbed once already this week - on Tuesday afternoon - because of high winds in the area. An operational problem had caused a delay in the launch one day prior to that.

The Delta IV Heavy rocket will be carrying a secretive satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. "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".

The National Weather Service Reno said that according to reports, it appears that the light was likely a meteor or space debris entering the atmosphere.



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