The United Launch Alliance launched its 10th and final Delta IV Heavy rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Saturday afternoon.
The rocket blasted off in clear skies at 3:25 p.m. from Space Launch Complex 6 at the coastal base north of Lompoc.
Viewers from the south coast of San Luis Obispo County had to wait for the rocket to clear a fog bank over the ocean before it was visible rising into the atmosphere.
Residents in San Luis Obispo could see the rocket soaring through a blue sky with a plume of white smoke trailing behind.
The launch was visible up and down the coast, as far south as Baja California.
ULA will transition to its new rocket, the Vulcan Centaur, according to ULA strategic communications senior manager Julie Arnold, according to Julie Arnold, ULA strategic communications senior manager.
This launch is ULA’s 153rd mission and the 14th mission for the Delta IV Heavy.
Commenters on the livestream reminisced on the Delta IV Heavy while waiting for the rocket took off.
“We’re gonna miss you,” one user wrote.
Delta IV Heavy is one of the world’s most powerful rockets, according to a news release, and has the world’s second highest payload weight capacity rocket in operation.
Arnold told The Tribune that there are still two more Delta IV Heavy launches scheduled from the East Coast — but this is the last launch of its kind from Vandenberg.
The rocket carried a national security payload that will “deliver critical intelligence information from space that U.S. warfighters and decision makers need,” according to the release.