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Vandenberg launches Delta II, Italian weather satellite

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket carrying the Thales Alenia-Space COSMO-SkyMed Satellite launched from Vandenberg on Dec. 8 at 6:31 p.m. The rocket, second of two COSMO-SkyMed launches scheduled from Vandenberg, took off from Space Launch Complex-2. The Delta II is an expendable launch, medium-lift vehicle. It carries civil and commercial payloads into low-earth, polar, geosynchronous transfer and stationary orbits. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Robert Hargreaves

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket carrying the Thales Alenia-Space COSMO-SkyMed Satellite launched from Vandenberg on Dec. 8 at 6:31 p.m. The rocket, second of two COSMO-SkyMed launches scheduled from Vandenberg, took off from Space Launch Complex-2. The Delta II is an expendable launch, medium-lift vehicle. It carries civil and commercial payloads into low-earth, polar, geosynchronous transfer and stationary orbits. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Robert Hargreaves

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket carrying the Thales Alenia-Space COSMO-SkyMed Satellite launched from Vandenberg on Dec. 8 at 6:31 p.m. The rocket, second of two COSMO-SkyMed launches scheduled from Vandenberg, took off from Space Launch Complex-2. The Delta II is an expendable launch, medium-lift vehicle. It carries civil and commercial payloads into low-earth, polar, geosynchronous transfer and stationary orbits. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Brian Webb

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket carrying the Thales Alenia-Space COSMO-SkyMed Satellite launched from Vandenberg on Dec. 8 at 6:31 p.m. The rocket, second of two COSMO-SkyMed launches scheduled from Vandenberg, took off from Space Launch Complex-2. The Delta II is an expendable launch, medium-lift vehicle. It carries civil and commercial payloads into low-earth, polar, geosynchronous transfer and stationary orbits. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Brian Webb

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket carrying the Thales Alenia-Space COSMO-SkyMed Satellite launched from Vandenberg on Dec. 8 at 6:31 p.m. The rocket, second of two COSMO-SkyMed launches scheduled from Vandenberg, took off from Space Launch Complex-2. The Delta II is an expendable launch, medium-lift vehicle. It carries civil and commercial payloads into low-earth, polar, geosynchronous transfer and stationary orbits. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Joe Davila

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Delta II rocket carrying the Thales Alenia-Space COSMO-SkyMed Satellite launched from Vandenberg on Dec. 8 at 6:31 p.m. The rocket, second of two COSMO-SkyMed launches scheduled from Vandenberg, took off from Space Launch Complex-2. The Delta II is an expendable launch, medium-lift vehicle. It carries civil and commercial payloads into low-earth, polar, geosynchronous transfer and stationary orbits. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Joe Davila

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg successfully launched a Delta II rocket Saturday at 6:31 p.m. The rocket took off from Space Launch Complex-2 carrying the Thales Alenia-Space COSMO-SkyMed 2 Satellite.

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

"This was the second successful COSMO-SkyMed launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base this year," Colonel Tanous said. "It takes a great deal of communications and teamwork to make a launch happen and the use of the Western Range by our Italian partners is rewarding for Team Vandenberg."

The Delta II is an expendable launch, medium-lift vehicle. It carries civil and commercial payloads into low-earth, polar, geosynchronous transfer and stationary orbits. The COSMO-SkyMed 2 satellite is an end-to-end Earth observation dual-use (civilian and military) system composed of four satellites and ground stations.