VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Team Vandenberg successfully launched a National Reconnaissance Office payload on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V from Space Launch Complex-3 here Wednesday, March 1, at 9:50 a.m. PST.
Col. Chris Moss, 30th Space Wing commander, was the launch decision authority.
"This successful launch is the result of outstanding teamwork between members of the 30th Space Wing and our partners at the National
Reconnaissance Office and United Launch Alliance," said Moss. "The combined team delivered an important capability for the nation today. It was an exceptional effort."
The 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base is responsible for safety and launch operations from the Western Range.
"A launch like this requires thousands of hours of activity and practice to execute successfully," said Lt. Col. Eric Zarybnisky, 4th Space Launch Squadron commander. "Engineers and technicians from my squadron work with members of the United Launch Alliance to ensure a successful launch like this one."
Today's Atlas launch was originally scheduled for the fall of 2016, but was delayed in part due to the wildfires that occurred on Vandenberg. Tragically, firefighter Ryan Osler lost his life in a vehicle accident while responding to the fires. To honor his sacrifice, United Launch Alliance dedicated this launch to Ryan and his family. ULA technicians painted the following inscription on the Atlas V booster:
Friend, Father, and Fallen Hero
Ryan S. Osler, Ventura County Fire Department
Team Vandenberg is proud to honor the sacrifice of Ryan and the Osler family with today's launch.