Rocket launch delayed to avoid satellite debris

February 28, 2008 10:11:40 AM PST
The launch of a rocket carrying a secret payload has been postponed to avoid possible space debris from the destruction of a spy satellite. The Atlas V rocket was supposed to blast off Friday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California carrying a classified satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office.

A launch hot line recording from the maker of the rocket said the launch won't occur until sometime in March. The recording said the delay was "a precautionary measure."

The Pentagon last week successfully shot down a dying, bus-size spy satellite loaded with toxic fuel using a missile launched from a cruiser in the Pacific.