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  • Space Launch Delta 30 Public Affairs

Team Vandenberg launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-3 here today, Sept. 27, at 11:12 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

Col. Robert Long was the launch decision authority.

The Atlas V carried the NASA Launch Program Landsat 9 observatory satellite and placed it into a near-polar, sun-synchronous orbit from Vandenberg Space Force Base and this marked the historic 2000th launch from the Western Range. NASA’s Launch Services Program based at Kennedy Space Center managed the launch.

“I stand on the shoulders of those who came before me and am just the lucky one who happens to be in the seat at this time,” said Long. “It is the entire team today and those across six decades that we celebrate as we achieve this milestone. What’s more, we’re crossing this monumental threshold with two great mission partners, NASA and ULA--both with their own long histories of success!”

The unique geographic location of Vandenberg makes this major range and test facility base a safe and ideal setting for confidence test launching intercontinental ballistic missiles, intermediate range ballistic missiles, and for placing satellite payloads into polar orbit.

“We see Vandenberg as the “Range of Choice” for launching satellites into polar orbit, conducting test launches, and a host of other unique services relevant to both DoD and industry, Long continues. “We can only be the Range of Choice through the hard work by the SLD 30 team alongside our mission partners. There can be no daylight between operations, support, and medical functions in order to achieve our mission.”

This milestone is a momentous occasion highlighting the Western Range’s unwavering commitment to improving our internal processes, and we achieved unprecedented results.

“All of our mission partners, in government and industry, are integral to our success. Not only do they provide unique capabilities needed to modernize range infrastructure, they challenge us to seek new and innovative ways to launch and test above the rest,” said Long. “We are seeing tremendous growth in the space industry in the coming decades. These are exciting times for our mission, our base, and our local community!”