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Vandenberg Air Force Base

December 2, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A military weather satellite was launched into a near-polar orbit Saturday, the Air Force said. An Atlas E booster blasted off at 7:57 a.m. carrying a payload for the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. Col. John A. Goyette, the program director, said in a statement that it was a "picture-perfect" launch. Meteorology information gathered by the satellite will be used by all branches of the services to aid commanders planning air, sea and ground operations, the Air Force said.
April 3, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan
An 18-story rocket carrying a $518-million military weather satellite was launched into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Thursday, extending the life of a program that began in the early 1960s. The 7:46 a.m. PDT blastoff was the first of the year for the team at Vandenberg's 30th Space Wing. "I couldn't be more proud of this team of professionals," said Col. Keith Balts, wing commander. "The team ... worked diligently to ensure that this launch was safe and successful.
September 2, 1997 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
After scorching about 7,000 acres, a Riverside County brush fire near Temecula was expected to be fully contained today by an air and land contingent of nearly 1,040 firefighting personnel. The blaze was 90% contained late Monday. A state Department of Forestry spokeswoman said there were no injuries but that two trailer homes, six vehicles, one tractor and two other minor structures had been burned.
April 1, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan
For more than 15 years, a $518-million military weather satellite sat in a clean room at Lockheed Martin Corp.'s facility in Sunnyvale waiting for the day it would be launched into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base. On Thursday morning, the spacecraft is finally set to be blasted into space atop Atlas V rocket. It will be the latest satellite launched in support of the military's long-running Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, a satellite system initiated in 1962.
A group led by ITT Corp. on Monday announced plans for a $33-million commercial-satellite "spaceport" at Vandenberg Air Force Base, in an effort to capture part of the booming launch business that is now concentrated in South America, China and Russia. The spaceport would specialize in preparing and aiding the launches of small- to medium-size payloads of up to 5,000 pounds and, if successful, would be the only major site for commercial satellite launches in the United States.
May 18, 1998
Iridium World Communications launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base the last five of 66 satellites designed to allow people to send and receive telephone calls or electronic messages from anywhere on Earth. Service is set to begin Sept. 23.
June 21, 1987
The twice-delayed launch of a $40-million weather satellite went off flawlessly from Vandenberg Air Force Base, a base duty officer reported. The Atlas 59-E carried its payload into overcast skies at 7:36 p.m. Friday, Capt. Raymond Sims said. The launch was delayed by unfavorable weather and for other unspecified reasons.
April 23, 1991 | Dean Takahashi / Times staff writer
Missile Launch: A Midgetman nuclear missile performed successfully during a test flight recently from Vandenberg Air Force Base, an Air Force spokesman said. The missile was launched at 11:33 a.m. and reached its target 4,200 miles away at the Kwajalein Missile Range on an island in the Pacific Ocean, said spokesman Lt. Col. Tom Worsdale. A Rockwell International division in Anaheim makes the guidance and control system for the Midgetman.
February 26, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision ruled Wednesday that military commanders have broad power to keep protesters off of bases, including the public roads that pass through them. The decision upholds the prosecution of a veteran peace activist from Santa Barbara who repeatedly returned to protest on a highway outside Vandenberg Air Force Base, even after he had been ordered to stay away. John Dennis Apel had been barred from Vandenberg in 2003 after he threw blood on a base sign.
February 25, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan
It's not the apocalypse. It just looks like that. Every few weeks, bright streaks and colorful, rolling waves appear in the California sky. They can startle those unfamiliar with their source, spurring speculation of aliens or apocalyptic visions. But the secret behind the heavenly artwork is much more mundane: frozen fuel exhaust crystals -- the trails of rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base - combined with nature. Vandenberg, on California's Central Coast between Lompoc and Santa Maria, has been the site of military space projects for more than half a century.
December 5, 2013 | By Michael McGough
Protesters are a pain for government in general, and the Pentagon in particular. But the armed services ought to be able to suck up a protest even on land that is part of a military base so long as it's nonviolent and doesn't pose a threat to security. That was my takeaway from arguments in the Supreme Court on Wednesday arising from the conviction of antiwar protester John Dennis Apel. In 2010, Apel engaged in a peaceful protest on a stretch of Pacific Coast Highway that passes through Vandenberg Air Force Base.
August 28, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
A 235-foot-tall rocket carrying a top-secret spy satellite roared to life and blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, leaving a thick white plume as it cut across the morning sky. The launch took place Wednesday at 11:03 a.m. PDT at the picturesque base, which is located along the Pacific Ocean. After countdown, the Delta IV Heavy rocket's three main engines ignited and climbed into skies. The hydrogen-fueled engines - each roughly the size of a pickup truck - were guzzling nearly a ton of propellants per second to provide 17 million horsepower.
August 23, 2013 | By Ken Schwencke
A shallow magnitude 4.2 earthquake was reported Friday evening 25 miles from Vandenberg Air Force Base, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 6:16 p.m. Pacific time at a depth of 8.1 miles. According to the USGS, the epicenter was 26 miles from Lompoc, 33 miles from Orcutt, 37 miles from Santa Maria and 277 miles from Sacramento. In the last 10 days, there have been no earthquakes magnitude 3.0 and greater centered nearby. This information comes from the USGS Earthquake Notification Service, and this post was created by an algorithm written by the author.
July 19, 2013 | By Tony Barboza
The U.S. Air Force will consider leasing land on Vandenberg Air Force Base for private companies to extract offshore oil and gas from land-based drills on the central California coast. The proposal, opposed by environmental groups, would require the first new offshore lease in state waters since the 1960s, said Mark Meier, chief counsel for the State Lands Commission. It would allow companies to use onshore equipment with extended-reach "slant drilling" technology to reach offshore deposits.
June 27, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
Live video from your Android device on Ustream All systems are go for the launch of IRIS -- a seven-foot spacecraft that will orbit Earth and study a small but mysterious region of the sun. You can watch IRIS take off for space Thursday evening, live, right here. Coverage of the launch provided by NASA begins at 6 p.m. PDT, and if you've never seen an air launch before, you probably don't want to miss it. When NASA's newest scientific satellite leaves Vandenberg Air Force Base, it will be riding in the belly of a rocket that in turn will be flying under an aircraft.
February 11, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE -- A 19-story white rocket successfully lifted a NASA science satellite into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, located northwest of Santa Barbara. The picture-perfect launch, which took place Monday at 10:02 a.m. PST, occurred at the base's Space Launch Complex-3 along the Pacific Ocean. The Atlas V rocket, built by United Launch Alliance, boosted the Landsat 8 satellite about 410 miles above the Earth. The satellite's first signal was received 82 minutes into the mission at a ground station in Svalbard, Norway, the space agency said.
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