Atlas V launch scheduled
By Staff Report, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 18, 2009
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg is scheduled to launch an Atlas V rocket carrying a Defense Meteorological Satellite Program payload from South Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex-3 on Sunday with a current launch window of 9:00 to 9:30 a.m.
Col. Steven Winters, 30th Space Wing vice commander, will be the spacelift commander for this mission.
This will be the second Atlas V and the first Air Force payload to be launched on an Atlas V from Vandenberg.
Atlas V is part of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle family. The program, which began in the 1990s with the goal of making government space launches more affordable and reliable, resulted in the development of two launch systems, Delta IV and Atlas V.
The DMSP designs, builds, launches, and maintains satellites monitoring the meteorological, oceanographic, and solar-terrestrial physics environments for the Department of Defense. Each DMSP satellite has a 101 minute, sun-synchronous near-polar orbit at an altitude of 830km above the surface of the earth. DMSP sensors collect images across a 3000km swath, providing global coverage twice per day.
Once operational, the DMSP payload will be managed by Airmen from the 6th Space Operations Squadron, an all Air Force Reserve unit stationed out of Schriever AFB, Colo.