Atlas V rocket on track for takeoff from Vandenberg SFB with latest Landsat | Local News

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An Atlas V rocket and its Satellite 9 spacecraft passed a final exam, paving the way for Monday’s historic launch as the Earth Observation program marks nearly 50 years of Space Force Base Vandenberg.

The team will target the Atlas V rocket takeoff from Space Launch Complex-3 on the South Base at 11:12 am, but there will be a 30-minute launch window to take off.

This departure time is one minute later than originally planned to avoid a collision with other spacecraft in orbit, officials said on Saturday.

“The spacecraft, the Atlas V rocket and all the equipment in the lineup are ready, and the combined government and contractor launch team are ready for the launch of Landsat 9 as part of their mission to continue the continuous collection of multispectral satellite images for almost 50 years “, Tim Dunn, that of NASA launch director said Saturday after reviewing the launch readiness.

According to the military, the weather will apparently adapt to the take-off attempt with a 10% chance that the winds on the ground will force the team to delay the departure. Conditions are worsening at a 40% chance of a delay for a launch attempt on Tuesday, again due to the winds on the ground.

Atlas V, built by United launch alliance, will place Landsat 9 as the latest in a series of observations of the Earth from space as part of a joint program between NASA and United States Geological Survey.

The first Landsat missile was launched from the base in 1972 and was followed by seven more, most recently in 2013. These eight satellites contribute to the 1,999 launches made from Vandenberg since 1958, with Monday’s mission to become the 2,000th takeoff. . from the base.

The newest Landsat will operate 438 miles above Earth, orbit the planet 15 times in 24 hours while collecting images of bands 115 miles wide.

“Landsat 9 pursues the essential role of the Landsat program in understanding land and coastal resources – food, water, forests, everything we need in daily life,” said Michael Egan, director of the Landsat 9 program at the NASA Earth Sciences Division.

The satellite, built by Northrop Grumman and sporting a solar panel manufactured at the company’s facilities in Goleta, will capture better detail than the most recently launched spacecraft.

“Landsat 9 builds on technological advancements from its predecessor, improving Landsat 8’s ability to detect slight changes in surface temperature, which helps farmers track plant health and irrigation,” Egan added. .

Click to see larger

A graphic from United Launch Alliance shows who could see the Atlas V rocket and its Landsat 9 spacecraft take off on Monday morning, although the views depend on the marine layer and smoky sky. (United Launch Alliance graphic)

The landmark mission led to a great celebration, including the creation of a new mural to join Lompoc’s other great art. A dedication ceremony is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Mural on the corner of West Ocean Avenue and I Street.

To view rocket launches, Vandenberg has restricted access so only pass holders can access the base.

However, a launch party for the public will be held at Lompoc Airport, 1801 North H St., from 9 a.m. to noon, with exhibits also on hand.

Several off-base locations also offer a view of the launch site, which is visible south of West Ocean Avenue (Hwy 246). The top of Harris Grade Road, Ocean Avenue west of Lompoc, and areas of Vandenberg Village, such as the intersection of Moonglow and Stardust Roads, also offer vantage points to observe the start.

A live broadcast of the launch will begin at 10:30 am Monday at ulalaunch.com. The countdown and launch will be available on NASA TV, available through cable companies or its Youtube channel.

– Noozhawk North County Editor-in-Chief Janene Scully can be reached at . (JavaScript must be enabled to display this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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