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Team Vandenberg scheduled to launch COSMO-SkyMed Satellite

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.- -- Vandenberg is scheduled to launch a Delta II rocket carrying the Thales Alenia Space-Italia COSMO-SkyMed Satellite, Sunday, Oct. 31, at 7:20 p.m. from Space Launch Complex-2 on north Vandenberg.

The rocket launch, originally scheduled for Oct. 29, has been delayed 48-hours due to propellant issues.

This launch is the fourth and final completing the COSMO-SkyMed constellation.

The overall objective of the COSMO-SkyMed program is global Earth observation, particularly in the Mediterranean area. Some applications include territorial surveillance; analyzing effects of natural disasters; coastal surveillance to assess erosion and sea/river pollution, monitoring of farming, forestry resources and urban buildings; mapping with a resolution on the order of one meter; and territorial security and strategic defense.

The first three COSMO-SkyMed satellites were launched from Vandenberg in June 2007, December 2007, and October 2008, respectively.

The Delta II launch vehicle will deliver COSMO-4 into a circular Sun-synchronous orbit, phased on the same orbital plane as COSMO-1, COSMO-2 and COSMO-3, where it will begin its mission of data observation and data recording for the needs of both the military and civilian communities.

This launch is a partnership among the 30th Space Wing, United Launch Alliance, the Boeing Corporation, Thales Alenia Space-Italia, Italian Space Agency and the Italian Ministry of Defense.

Col. Richard Boltz, 30th Space Wing commander, is the launch decision authority.