[Update: Successful launch and deployment of satellites] First operational Starlink launch from the west coast

On Monday, SpaceX plans to launch their first operational batch of Starlink satellites from their launch complex out of Vandenberg Space Force Base. While the official name of this mission is Starlink 2-1 the launch will not carry the 2.0 variants we’ve been waiting for. Instead, these will be 1.5 version satellites and the 2 refers to the “group 2” of Starlink satellites.

This will be the first SpaceX launch from the west coast since Sentinel 6 in November 2020. This will also be the first full batch of Starlink satellites to launch into a polar orbit. Starlink 2-1 will host the first use of the droneship Of Course I Still Love you on the west coast.

Date: Monday, September 13th, 11:55 p.m. EDT

Continue Reading

[Update: Launched] ULA’s first mission and debut of California launches for 2021

ULA’s next mission and first of 2021, NROL-82 is a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office and is launching on top of the large Delta IV Heavy rocket. This will end up being the first launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, the prime spaceport for polar launches.

Date: Monday, April 26, 4:47 PM EDT

Continue Reading

Firefly Aerospace shares timelapse of Alpha going vertical

On April 12th, Firefly Aerospace shared photos of their first Alpha rocket going vertical on the launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force base, and today they shared a timelapse of the lift.

Firefly’s first Alpha rocket vertical on the pad for static fire before its first launch

Firefly Aerospace is nearing its inaugural flight. Firefly’s first Alpha rocket, which arrived at Vandenberg in November, is now vertical on the launch in preparation for a static fire and launch.

Continue Reading

SpaceX returning to west coast recovery operations per new job postings

SpaceX has had launch sites on both coasts for years, Florida for most launches has been the primary location for customers to get their payloads into space. On the west coast, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California offers a specialized launch site for missions that require polar orbits.

Continue Reading

SpaceX hiring Vandenberg Launch Site Manager, more launches out of California expected

A new job posting from SpaceX has revealed that the private space company is looking for a Launch Site Mission Manager for Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This is likely a sign that SpaceX expects to undertake many more launches from this site in the future.

SpaceX launches global sea level observing satellite from California for NASA, ESA, and NOAA

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from its west coast launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Saturday. The mission included a scientific payload for NASA, NOAA, and ESA called Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich. “The spacecraft is named after Dr. Michael Freilich, the former director of NASA’s Earth Science Division and a tireless advocate for advancing satellite measurements of the ocean,” according to NASA.

Continue Reading