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Preparing for launch

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 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 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 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 Delta II rocket is exposed after the launch tower rollback 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 Delta II rocket is exposed after the launch tower rollback 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)