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Vandenberg successfully launches Delta II

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., - Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., - Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography.
( U.S Air Force photo/Airman First Class Andrew Lee )

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. ( U.S Air Force photo/Airman First Class Andrew Lee )

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.-- Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography.
(U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt Luke P. Thelen)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.-- Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt Luke P. Thelen)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., - Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., - Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., - Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., - Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., - Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., - Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., - Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., - Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., - Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., - Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., - Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. ( U.S Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. LukeThelen)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., - Team Vandenberg successfully launches a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. Friday. The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit. The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. ( U.S Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. LukeThelen)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Team Vandenberg successfully launched a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at 12:46 a.m. today. 

The rocket carried the OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite into an 830-mile near-circular orbit.
Col. Steve Tanous, 30th Space Wing commander, was the spacelift commander for this mission. 

"This launch is a testament to the tremendous team effort between NASA, the 30th Space Wing and our industry partners," Colonel Tanous said. "We have one opportunity to be successful with each launch and 100 percent mission success is our standard. 

"Seeing a launch through to a successful lift-off is always rewarding, but this launch is particularly poignant as I close my tenure as the 30th Space Wing commander," he added. "I am extremely proud of the men and women of the 30th Space Wing and know they will continue their tradition of excellence." 

The primary role of the spacecraft will be to measure and gather information about ocean topography. The OSTM/Jason-2 Satellite will provide new perspectives on Earth's oceans using the five instruments it has aboard. 

"Hurricanes can create tremendous death and destruction when they touch land," said Dr. Laury Miller, chief of the satellite altimetry laboratory at NOAA. "One of (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's) high priorities is to look for ways to increase our accuracy for predicting hurricanes." 

With that priority in mind, some of the satellites objectives include improving the measure of global sea-level changes, improving open ocean tide models and providing a minimum of three years measurement of global ocean surface topography. 

The Delta II is an expendable launch, medium-lift vehicle. It carries civil and commercial payloads into low-earth, polar, geosynchronous transfer and stationary orbits.