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Vandenberg successfully launches Delta II

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket launches at 2:22 a.m. February 6, 2009 from Space Launch Complex-2 here. The rocket carried a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This was Vandenberg’s first launch of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket launches at 2:22 a.m. February 6, 2009 from Space Launch Complex-2 here. The rocket carried a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This was Vandenberg’s first launch of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket launches at 2:22 a.m. February 6, 2009 from Space Launch Complex-2 here.  The rocket carried a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  This was Vandenberg’s first launch of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Justin Jessop)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket launches at 2:22 a.m. February 6, 2009 from Space Launch Complex-2 here. The rocket carried a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This was Vandenberg’s first launch of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Justin Jessop)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  -- A launch tower retracts, exposing a Delta II rocket hours before launch Feb. 3. The rocket is carrying a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (U.S Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Longoria)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A launch tower retracts, exposing a Delta II rocket hours before its first scheduled launch Feb. 3. The rocket successfully launched Feb 6 carrying a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This was Vandenberg’s first launch of 2009. (U.S Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Longoria)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket launches at 2:22 a.m. February 6, 2009 from Space Launch Complex-2 here.  The rocket carried a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  This was Vandenberg’s first launch of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Lee)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket launches at 2:22 a.m. February 6, 2009 from Space Launch Complex-2 here. The rocket carried a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This was Vandenberg’s first launch of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Lee)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket launches at 2:22 a.m. February 6, 2009 from Space Launch Complex-2 here. The rocket carried a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This was Vandenberg’s first launch of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket launches at 2:22 a.m. February 6, 2009 from Space Launch Complex-2 here. The rocket carried a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This was Vandenberg’s first launch of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket launches at 2:22 a.m. February 6, 2009 from Space Launch Complex-2 here. The rocket carried a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This was Vandenberg’s first launch of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket launches at 2:22 a.m. February 6, 2009 from Space Launch Complex-2 here. The rocket carried a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This was Vandenberg’s first launch of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket launches at 2:22 a.m. February 6, 2009 from Space Launch Complex-2 here. The rocket carried a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This was Vandenberg’s first launch of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket launches at 2:22 a.m. February 6, 2009 from Space Launch Complex-2 here. The rocket carried a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This was Vandenberg’s first launch of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket launches at 2:22 a.m. February 6, 2009 from Space Launch Complex-2 here. The rocket carried a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This was Vandenberg’s first launch of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket launches at 2:22 a.m. February 6, 2009 from Space Launch Complex-2 here. The rocket carried a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This was Vandenberg’s first launch of 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Mission planners celebrate Vandenberg AFB's first launch of the New Year following the successful launch of a Delta II rocket at 2:22 a.m. today from Space Launch Complex-2 here.

The rocket carried a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Col. David Buck, 30th Space Wing commander, was the Launch Decision Authority for this mission.

"This was our first launch of the new year," Colonel Buck said. "With 11 launches on the books for this year, I'd say we have a busy year ahead of us. However, having led this team through six successful launches and witnessing their professionalism and dedication first hand, I know the 30th Space Wing will be ready to support."

The NOAA-N Prime satellite will improve weather forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world, according to the NASA website. NOAA-N Prime is the fifth and last in the current series of five polar-orbiting satellites with improved imaging and sounding capabilities.

"Today's launch showcased some of the everyday, modern conveniences provided by our spacelift capabilities," Colonel Buck said. "Whether it is through improved weather forecasting or high resolution earth imagery, our launch range is helping provide ordinary citizens across the globe with services which people often take for granted."

Vandenberg is scheduled to launch a second NASA satellite aboard a Taurus rocket Feb. 23.