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Vandenberg Launch Emplacement 8

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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Vandenberg Launch Emplacement 8

Launch siteVandenberg AFB , California, US
Location344559N 1203722W / 34.766354N 120.622720W / 34.766354; -120.622720 Coordinates : 344559N 1203722W / 34.766354N 120.622720W / 34.766354; -120.622720
Short nameLE-8
OperatorUnited States Air Force
Launch pad(s)1

Across the world, several startup-launch providers such as Relativity Space, Astra, Virgin Orbit, and others are currently in fierce competition with one another to bring their in-Development rockets into operation and obtain a share of the ever-growing small satellite Launch market. One of those companies-Texas-Base Firefly Aerospace-has taken a substantial step in these efforts with the shipment of their first Flight-ready Vehicle to its Launch site at VANDENBERG Air Force Base, California. That vehicle is known as Alpha: two-stage Rocket that Firefly hops to launch no earlier than 22 December from Space Launch Complex 2 West. The company is aiming to deploy several small satellites into Orbit during this flight as part of the dedicated Research and Education Accelerator Mission. Alpha itself will stand 29 meters tall when fully stacked and is said to be capable of delivering up to 1 000 kilograms of Payload to low-inclination 200 kilometer Orbit and 630 kilograms to 500 kilometer Sun-synchronous Orbit. The rocket is powered by four Reaver first stage engines and a single Lightning second stage engine, both of which are fuelled by RP-1 kerosene and liquid oxygen. These engines feature Fireflys Crossfire propellant injection System and tap-off combustion cycle, in which hot gases from the combustion chamber are routed through turbopump turbines and then exhaust. According to Firefly, use of this engine cycle decreases engine complexity and cost while increasing motor overall reliability. Reaver and Lightning engines will be the first RP-1 / LOX-fuel engines to fly using this cycle. Flight 1 engines in particular are outfit with additive manufactured parts, which were developed in cooperation with experienced engine manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne. The two companies will continue to develop components for future iterations of Reaver and Lightning engines as part of an agreement that was signed in October 2019. Alpha rocket structure and propellant tanks are constructed out of carbon fiber composites, which has proven to be ideal for smaller Launch Systems due to materials high strength and low density. One of Fireflys ' main competitors in the small satellite market, Rocket Lab, has successfully flown many of their Electron rockets that are built using these same materials. Firefly has not yet flown with this hardware, but they successfully demonstrated its viability during qualification testing of Alphas assort components at their Rocket Development and Test facility in Briggs, Texas. Since late 2017, dozens of static fire tests of Reaver and Lightning engines have been conducted on horizontal Test Stand in order to verify that engines will perform at nominal level during flight. The company has also constructed a vertical Test Stand at the facility, thereby allowing Firefly to conduct fully-integrated tests of rocket stages-including tanking tests, wet dress rehearsals, and firings. Alpha Flight 1 second stage was subject to these kinds of tests throughout the end of 2018 and most of 2019, with the final qualification firing test completed in November of that year.

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1945-1990

All of NASA's interplanetary launches to date have been from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, in part because the physics of launching off the East Coast is better for journeys to other planets. However, InSight will break the mold by launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. It will be the first launch to another planet from the West Coast. Whole new regions of the country will get to see interplanetary launch when InSight rockets into the sky. On clear day, launch may be visible from Santa Maria, Calif. To San Diego, Calif. Weather permitting, InSight's pre-dawn launch may be visible to more than 10 million Californians without the need for them to drive to a special location. Just wake up early, check the InSight Website for assurance launch is still on schedule, go outside, look at the western sky, marvel at the rocket's flare as it travels southward, and cheer InSight bon voyage to Mars.

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1990-1999

Vandenberg Air Force Base is named in honor of the late General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, second Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force and Chief architect of today's modern Air Force. General Vandenberg was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on 24 January 1899. In 1923, he graduated from West Point. During World War II, Colonel Vandenberg was transferred to England and assisted in planning Air Operations for the invasion of North Africa. He received his first star in December 1942, and became Chief of Staff of the Twelfth Air Force in North Africa under General James H. Doolittle. During this campaign, he flew over two dozen combat missions over Tunisia, Italy, Sardinia, Sicily, and Pantelleria to obtain first hand information. In March 1945, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General, and full General in 1947. Meanwhile, in January 1946, General Vandenberg was appointed Chief of the Intelligence Division of General Staff. In June, he was named director of Central Intelligence Group, predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency formed in 1947. With the establishment of the separate Air Force in September 1947, Vandenberg became its first vice Chief of Staff under General Carl Spaatz, and succeeded him on 30 April 1948. He held that post through the critical periods of Berlin Airlift and the Korean War. General Vandenberg retired from the Air Force in June 1953. He died in Washington, DC on 2 April 1954. In 1941, the United States Army sought more and better Training centers for the rapid development of its Armored and Infantry forces. In March 1941, Army acquired approximately 86 000 acres of open ranch land along the Central Coast of California between Lompoc and Santa Maria. Most of the land was purchase. Smaller parcels were obtained either by lease, license, or as easements. With its flat plateau, surrounding hills, numerous canyons, and relative remoteness from populated areas, Army was convinced it had found the ideal Training Location. Construction of the Army Camp began in September 1941. Although its completion was still months away, Army activated Camp on 5 October, and named it Camp Cooke in honor of Major General Phillip. George Cooke. General Cooke was a cavalry officer whose military career spanned almost half a century, beginning with his graduation from West Point in 1827 to his retirement in 1873. He participated in the Mexican War, Indian Wars, and the Civil War. A native of Virginia, General Cooke remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War. Perhaps his most enduring achievement came when, as Colonel during the Mexican War, he led a battalion of Mormons from Missouri to California. The route led by Colonel Cooke in 1847 opened the first wagon Route to California, and today, railroads follow many of the early wagon trails. Although construction of Camp Cooke continued well into 1942, troop training did not wait.

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America's Homeland Defense Shield

Delay day by weather conditions 4 200 miles away, unarmed Minuteman III missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base early Thursday. Air Force Global Strike Command officials say an intercontinental ballistic missile blasted off at 12: 27 am from an underground silo on the base. Launch was a test that enabled the military to evaluate the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the US missile fleet. The ICBM Test launch program demonstrates our nations ' nuclear deterrence forces are safe, secure, effective and ready to defend the United States, and Vandenberg plays an integral part in providing capabilities necessary to meet those Test objectives, said Ron Cortopassi, executive director of 30 Space Wing, launch decision authority at VAFB. Even in times of global pandemic, our airmen are able to provide the range support required to safely test ICBM launch. This mission marks the first time civilians provided final go for launch from Base, Vandenberg officials say. The test launch was initially planned for early Wednesday, but military officials postponed the operation because of adverse weather conditions at the target area in Kwajalein Atoll in Marshall Islands, some 4 200 miles southwest of the Central Coast. This was the third Minuteman missile Test since August from VAFB. We have had a busy Test launch schedule for the last few months, and our team has worked very hard to successfully execute each mission, say Col. Omar Colbert, commander of 576 Flight Test Squadron. Today's launch sends a visible message of deterrence to the world, and I couldnt be more proud of the dedication and professionalism of our team. Members of 576 Flight Test Squadron, which is Base at Vandenberg, help prep weapon for launch. The missile was randomly selected from the Air Force Global Strike Command fleet at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. A task force of personnel from all three AFGSC missile wings supported the launch. This test takes missiles and an incredible team of maintainers and launch crews, all pulled from active missile wings, and that really demonstrates continued readiness and reliability of both Minuteman III and the professional men and women who support it, said Lt. Col. Brock Sargent, task Force commander. Together we make up weapon system that stand on continuous alert, defending the United States and our allies 24 / 7, just as we have for the last 50 years. Test launches like the one that occurred Thursday are scheduled years ahead of time with work for specific mission starting months before liftoff. Test launches are not related to any real world events or regional tensions, according to Air Force officials. Thursday's launch was the first of two planned in two weeks from Vandenberg. On Nov. 10, SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is set to carry NASA's ocean-observing satellite, Sentinel-6, into Space. The Space Exploration Technologies rocket also reportedly will return its first-stage booster to the landing site at Base, VAFB officials said earlier this year. Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at.

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Units Edit

Vandenberg Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base, located approximately 9. 2 miles northwest of Lompoc, California. It is under jurisdiction of 30 Space Wing, Air Force Space Command. Vandenberg AFB is a Department of Defense Space and Missile testing Base, with the mission of placing satellites into polar orbit from the West Coast, using expendable boosters. Wing personnel also Support Service's LGM-30G Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Force Development Evaluation program. In addition to its Military Mission, Base also leased Launch pad facilities to SpaceX, as well as 100 acres leased to California Spaceport in 1995. The base is named in honor of former Air Force Chief of Staff General Hoyt S. Vandenberg.

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History Edit

With the advent of the Missile age in the 1950s, urgent need arose for an adequate training site that could also serve as America's first Combat ready Missile Base. In January 1956, select committee was formed to examine more than 200 potential sites before Camp Cooke was choose, essentially for the same characteristics the Army found desirable in 1941. Besides its size, remoteness from heavily populated areas, and moderate climate which affords year-round operations, Cooke's coastal location allows missiles to be Launch into the Pacific Ocean without population overflights. This same geographic feature also enables satellites to be launched into polar orbit directly toward the South Pole without overflying any land mass until reaching Antarctica. In September 1956, Secretary of the Air Force, Donald A. Quarles, accepted the committee's recommendation. A few weeks later, on 16 November 1956, Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson directed the Army to transfer 64 000 acres of North Camp Cooke to the United States Air Force for use as a Missile Launch and Training Base. In June 1957, North Camp Cooke was renamed Cooke Air Force Base, and on 21 June 1957 was transferred to the Air Force. In January, however, Air Force, had received access to the Camp, and with the arrival of the first airman in February, established on 15 6591 Support Squadron. The initial mission of Cooke AFB was to serve both as a training site for PGM-17 Thor, SM-65 Atlas, and HGM-25A Titan I missiles, and as an emergency Operational Facility for Atlas ICBM. The scene where meet first airmen at Base was a cluttered mass of dilapidated World War II buildings amid weeds and brush growing everywhere. Roads-mostly gravel and dirt trails-were in need of extensive repair. In late April 1957, parallel renovation and construction programs start. Over the next two years, Missile Launch and Control facilities begin to appear as tons of concrete and steel transform the landscape. Old buildings were renovated and new ones build, including Capehart Military family housing. Work was already in process when the Air Force hosted official Ground breaking ceremonies on 8 May 1957. To operate Cooke AFB, 392d Air Base Group was activate, replacing 6591 Support Squadron on 15 April 1957. With the activation of 704 Strategic Missile Wing at Cooke on 1 July, 392d was assigned to the Wing. This was the first Air Force Ballistic Missile Wing. On 16 July, 1 Missile Division, activated three months earlier in Inglewood, California, relocated to Cooke AFB to supervise Wing Operations. During this formative period, work of these latter two organizations involved planning for Missile Operations and Training. Division was assigned to the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division in Inglewood, which in turn reports to Air Research and Development Command at Andrews AFB, Maryland.

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Geography Edit

The first flight of Fireflys small-satellite rocket, Alpha, is scheduled for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, at a time to be determined later. The United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket will launch classified spy satellite cargo for the US National Reconnaissance Office, from SLC-6, at a time to be determined later. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Sentinel 6A satellite in a joint mission between the European Space Agency, NASA, NOAA, CNES and Eumetsat. Launch from SLC-4E will be at time to be determined later. SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch SmallSat Rideshare 1, with multiple satellites from different clients. Launch from SLC-4E will be at date and time to be determined later. SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch SARah 1, part of a satellite constellation for the German government. Launch from SLC-4E will be at date and

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Demographics Edit

The 2010 United States Census reported that Vandenberg AFB had a population of 3 338. The population density was 150. 9 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Vandenberg AFB was 2 317 White, 307 African American, 26 Native American, 207 Asian, 24 Pacific Islander, 140 from other races, and 317 from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 616 people The Census report that 2 952 people live in households, 378 live in non-institutionalized Group quarters, and 8 were institutionalize. There were 858 households, out of which 655 had children under the age of 18 living in them, 730 were opposite-sex married couples living together, 57 had female householder with no husband present, 31 had male householder with no wife present. There were 4 unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 3 same-sex married couples or partnerships. 38 households were made up of individuals and 1 had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3. 44. There were 818 families; average family size was 3. 54. The population was spread out with 1 287 people under the age of 18, 610 people aged 18 to 24, 1 338 people aged 25 to 44, 97 people aged 45 to 64, and 6 people who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22. 5 years. For every 100 females, there were 118. 0 males. For every 100 females aged 18 and over, there were 124. 4 males. There were 1 035 housing units at an average density of 46. 8 per square mile, of which 12 were owner-occupy, and 846 were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0 %; the rental vacancy rate was 2. 2 %. 25 people live in owner-occupied housing units and 2 927 people live in rental housing units.

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Sources

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