Artist’s rendering of WGS-11+

Press Releases


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Team Vandenberg is scheduled to launch the 19th U.S. Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program payload on an Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-3 here Thursday, April 3, with a launch window opening at 7:46 a.m. PDT.

The DMSP satellite was built by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman and United Launch Alliance builds and flies the rocket.

Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander will be the launch decision authority.

"We are excited and ready to take on our first launch of 2014," said Balts. "I am proud of this launch team, which has been working tirelessly toward this launch for months."

The 4th Space Launch Squadron is in charge of mission assurance and safety for this launch operation.

"A launch like this takes teamwork and dedication," said Lt. Col. James Bodnar, 4th SLS commander. "Our mission assurance technicians and engineers have worked hand-in-hand with United Launch Alliance going over critical procedures and tasks to ensure this launch is a safe and successful one."

Defense Meteorological Satellite Program polar orbiting satellites operate in sun-synchronous orbits and continuously send down imagery, microwave and space weather data providing military forces critical situational awareness information in support of military operations. Weather forecasters use such data to predict regional and global weather patterns, including severe thunderstorms, hurricanes and typhoons.


Note to Editors: Media planning to put remote cameras in place should RSVP by calling TSgt. Vincent Mouzon at 805-606-3595 or by email at A media escort will depart the Vandenberg South Gate parking lot Tuesday at noon. Picking up the remote cameras will happen approximately time of launch plus 90 minutes.

Media planning to cover the event must RSVP by calling TSgt. Vincent Mouzon at 805-606-3595 or by e-mail at by noon Wednesday, April 2. A media escort will depart the Main Gate Visitor's Center Thursday at 6:30 a.m.; Any names not on the RSVP list will not be allowed on base.

For questions about the booster please contact Jessica Rye/United Launch Alliance at 321-693-6250 or