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First Atlas V Launch from Vandenberg and the West Coast
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An Atlas V stands on Space Launch Complex-3 during its mobile servicing tower rollback on March 12. Col. Steve Tanous, 30th Space Wing commander, will be the space lift commander for this mission. This will be the first Atlas V launched from Vandenberg and the west coast, as well as the first launch of the year. This milestone for Team Vandenberg is the product of the combined efforts of the 30th Space Wing, the National Reconnaissance Office, United Launch Alliance, the Space and Missile Systems Center, the Aerospace Corporation and more. SLC 3 was significantly modified to get ready for the next generation of space launch vehicles. The Atlas V will be its first launch since the modifications were completed. Previously used for 21 Atlas II launches, the pad received significant upgrades to accommodate the larger and more powerful booster. The tower was made taller, the overhang was extended with a much bigger crane, and the entire pad deck was reconfigured. The pad also features a brand new fixed launch platform. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Thomas)
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Atlas V launch successful

Posted 3/13/2008   Updated 3/19/2008 Email story   Print story


3/13/2008 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  -- Vandenberg AFB successfully launched an Atlas V rocket March 13 at 3:01 a.m. The rocket took off from Space Launch Complex-3 carrying a National Reconnaissance Office payload.

Col. Steve Tanous, 30th Space Wing commander, was the spacelift commander for this mission, or final go-for-launch authority.

"This launch was an incredible achievement for Team Vandenberg, ULA, NRO and our other fellow launch partners," Colonel Tanous said. "The hard work and dedication of everyone involved for the first launch of an Atlas V and for the year here, continues to ensure our nation's access to space.

"I am very proud of the teamwork that led to the successful and historic Atlas V mission."

The Atlas V is an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. This was the first Atlas V launch from Vandenberg.

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