Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 19
NASA announces future Vandenberg launches
BY JEREMY THOMAS
On July 16, NASA named Vandenberg Air Force Base as the site of three future Delta 2 launches, following its $400 million rocket contract with the United Launch Alliance.
The announcement breathed new life into the reliable Delta 2, which wasn’t included in the last NASA contract with the ULA in 2010.
“ULA is honored NASA has selected the Delta 2 launch vehicle to launch these critical science payloads,” ULA president Michael Gass said in a prepared statement. “While we count success one mission at a time, we have been able to count on the Delta 2’s success 96 times in a row over the last decade.”
The rockets will launch from Complex 2 at Vandenberg starting with a Delta 2 carrying the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO 2) in July 2014. The satellite will map carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. Next will be a rocket carrying the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite, scheduled for October 2014. Rounding out the contract will be the launch of the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS 1), a forecasting project by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which will be sent to orbit in November 2016.
NASA officials also pegged Vandenberg as the site for the Hawthorne, Calif.-based Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the NOAA’s Jason-3 spacecraft in December 2014. The Jason-3 will be used to measure sea surface height and monitor ocean circulation and sea levels. SpaceX also has plans to launch a Falcon 9, and its first Falcon 9 Heavy rocket from Vandenberg by the end of this year.
On the fast track? Phillips 66 is looking to ship volatile Bakken crude oil through SLO County by train, but opposition efforts are gaining steam The great expander: Get an inside look at Cal Poly's research boom Pismo's Cliffs Resort faces two lawsuits Cougars & Mustangs: Relax, if you can Correction Police divvy up SLO Paso Robles settles wastewater fines