PCC reveives extreme Italian makeover

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- For the Italian space community's first satellite launch from Vandenberg, the Italian Ministry of Defense transformed the Pacific Coast Club into a non-conventional viewing site for the Italian COSMO Sky-Med satellite launch on June 7. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Corenthia Fennell)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- For the Italian space community's first satellite launch from Vandenberg, the Italian Ministry of Defense transformed the Pacific Coast Club into a non-conventional viewing site for the Italian COSMO Sky-Med satellite launch on June 7. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Corenthia Fennell)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Pacific Coast Club became a non-conventional viewing site for the Italian COSMO Sky-Med satellite launch on June 7. For the first Italian space community's first satellite launch from Vandenberg, the Italian Ministry of Defense brought in a 74 person team from Milan, in collaboration with a southern California production company, to create an elaborate production.

"The Italians wanted a first class production that was technically unparalleled, pleasing to the eye and comfortable," said Paul Medeirous, a project manager for the 9:00 p.m. Events and Entertainment company.

In order to make guests comfortable, three walls of the ballroom inside the PCC were covered in a wall to wall muslin scrim. The cotton-like material worked as a giant screen for to capture projections from a satellite teleconference in Italy, as well as speaking aids and live video coverage from various speakers and the launch itself.

A stage in the center of the ballroom held an inflatable white, fabric globe which displayed scaled satellite images of the earth from a projector.

While the Italian and American guests watched the pre-launch and launch presentation, not only could they watch the images projected on the walls but also on the 21, 42-inch flat screen televisions placed in between each row of the white, egg-shaped vinyl chairs. These 150 chairs, which were rented from a company in Anaheim, Calif., filled almost the entire ballroom.

After 36 hours, the company received the reward for their labor at 7:34 p.m. on Thursday evening, when Vandenberg personnel and Italians huddled around the plasma screen televisions or watched the wall to wall scrim in those vinyl chairs to see the Delta II rocket blast into the Western sky.

However for some, the highlight was the chance to work with Vandenberg personnel.

"The biggest reward is getting to look through other people's eyes," said Jimmy Pallas, owner of 9:00 p.m. Events and Entertainment. 

This is the first of two COSMO-SkyMed satellite launches by the Italian Ministry of Defense, in support of the Italian Space Agency, through United launch alliance, at Vandenberg. The next COSMO-SKyMed satellite launch is slated for January.