A rocket with the capacity to carry a 25-ton payload was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the central California coast carrying what is believed to be a spy satellite capable of taking extremely high-resolution photographs.

Details about the launch, which was streamed at 11:03 a.m. Wednesday on the Web site of United Launch Alliance, were not provided because the mission is classified.

The Delta IV Heavy, the largest rocket in the U.S. fleet, carried a $1 billion satellite designed by the National Reconnaissance Office, or NRO, which oversees U.S. spy satellite programs, experts said.

The satellite has the capability of taking a photograph from space of the Earth's surface clear enough to distinguish the make and model of an automobile, the Los Angeles Times reported. EFE