ULA rocket launch from Vandenberg space force base

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United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket was launched today from Space Force Base Vandenberg, despite the infamous heavy fog from the Central Coast base that made take-off difficult to see in the region.

The rocket lifted off from Vandenberg at around 11:12 a.m., exploding in the dense marine layer surrounding the launch pad.

The rocket successfully transported Landsat 9 – a NASA satellite intended to help monitor land and coastal regions of the Earth – into orbit before splitting up and moving to a lower orbit to deploy Carpool Cubesats.

The launch had previously been delayed due to supply chain issues that limited access to liquid nitrogen and, more recently, due to forecasted high winds and potential conflicts on the Western Range.

This was the third launch from the Central Coast base in the past two months.

At the end of August, the inaugural launch of Firefly’s rocket ended in a flaming explosion. Then, on September 14, SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket carrying Starlink satellites.

Vandenberg celebrates 2,000 rocket launches

The launch of the ULA was a significant milestone for the recently renamed Space Force base.

According to a press release from Vandenberg, the launch of Atlas V is the 2,000th rocket launch from the military base.

“The 2,000th launch gives us the opportunity to celebrate the tens of thousands of Vandenberg team members, past and present, who share a proud heritage from the first launch in 1958 until the 2000th launch,” said the Col. Rob Long, the launching authority for the launch, said in the statement. “The space – and the launch – is difficult. Our track record of success is testament to the longstanding excellence of our mission.

This story was originally published September 27, 2021 10:45 a.m.

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Kaytlyn Leslie writes on business and development for The San Luis Obispo Tribune. Hailing from Nipomo, she also covers municipal governments and events in the South County area including Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach, and Grover Beach. She joined The Tribune in 2013 after graduating in journalism from Cal Poly.

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