Mysterious light seen in California sky prompts speculation

A Delta Heavy IV rocket sits on the launch pad of Vandenberg Air Force Base on Dec. 19 2018

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. The launch was first delayed by five minutes, then it was scrubbed altogether less than 10 minutes to takeoff. However, around 5:40 p.m., ULA reports the launch had been scrubbed and they will attempt it again Thursday night.

It's the fourth time the launch was postponed in the past two weeks.

Previous launches were also canceled seconds before liftoff due to technical issues. An operational problem had caused a delay in the launch one day prior to that. "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".

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. "A meteor can create a very high level cloud called a noctilucent [night-shining] cloud", they wrote, adding a link to an article about this type of cloud formation published on NASA's website.

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