Image credit: USAF
After five scrubbed launch attempts, a Titan II rocket finally roared up from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Monday, lifting a Coriolis spacecraft into orbit. The $224 million satellite was funded by the US Air Force and Navy to study wind patterns in the Earth’s oceans. The Titan II rocket that launched the satellite used to be tipped with a nuclear warhead, but it was repurposed as part of the strategic arms reductions.
The 30th Space Wing, the 576th Flight Test Squadron here and a task force from the 91st Space Wing, Minot AFB, N.D., launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile at 4:31 a.m. today from North Vandenberg as part of a flight test for Air Force Space Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program.
Launch activities were directed by Capt. Rob Light, 576th FLTS. Lt. Col. James Cardinal, 91st Maintenance Operations Squadron commander, was the task force commander. Lt. Col. Anthony Blaylock, 576th FLTS commander, was mission director for this launch. Col. Wayne Louis, 30th Space Wing vice commander, was the spacelift commander, or final go/no-go authority for the launch.
Original Source: Air Force News Release