DVIDS – News – Space Force Base Vandenberg prepares to celebrate its historic 2000th launch


Space Force Base Vandenberg will celebrate its 2000th launch when NASA’s Launch Services Program sends a Landsat-9 Earth Observation satellite, mated to an Atlas V 401 rocket, into orbit on September 27, 2021.

“The 2000th launch gives us the opportunity to celebrate the thousands of people of the Vandenberg team, past and present, who share a proud heritage from the first launch in 1958 until the 2000th launch. Space and launch are difficult. Our record of success is a testament to the mission’s long-standing excellence, ”said Colonel Robert Long, Commander of Space Launch Delta 30.

Vandenberg launched its first missile on December 16, 1958. The PGM-17A Thor intermediate-range ballistic missile was launched from Space Launch Complex-2 East. Shortly thereafter, the first SM-65 Atlas missile was launched on September 9, 1959 at the 576 A-2 launch facility.
“The Vandenberg Space Force Base has 56 launch facilities supporting clients between government entities and commercial launch providers,” said Dr. Scott Bailey, historian of Space Launch Delta 30.
Since 1958, the previous 1,999 launches facilitated by Vandenberg include missile and space programs such as Atlas, Thor, Delta IV, SpaceX, Minuteman and Falcon 9 among many others.
The goal of Space Launch Delta 30 with each mission is to provide much needed launch, landing and range capabilities to the nation.
All personnel assigned to SLD 30 launch missions provide safe launch and range capabilities as the only military installation on the west coast of the continental United States. It’s about supporting commercial and government customers.

Regarding the safety of this historic launch and every launch, Colonel Kris Barcomb, Deputy Commander of SLD 30, said, “We ensure public safety at every launch. It is fire support, security force support, roadblocks, fire suppression, procurement and contractual support.

It takes a joint force of Airmen and Guardians to oversee every launch at Vandenberg, and Colonel Long understands the importance of Team Vandenberg.

“It is the whole team today and for six decades that we celebrate as we take this important milestone. In addition, we are crossing this monumental threshold with two major mission partners, NASA and the United Launch Alliance, ”said Long.

As technology evolves and soars, let’s not forget where it all began and celebrate Vandenberg’s 2000th launch.

“Everyone has a GPS and land imaging apps on their phone for directions. It all started with a rocket launch that was put into orbit at Vandenberg, ”Bailey said.

Date taken: 24.09.2021
Date posted: 09.24.2021 19:12
Story ID: 406038

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