Dec 12 2014

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Atlas V liftoff from Vandenburg AFB Thursday night (Update: Friday night)

I can sometimes see these from my house, so I’ll be on the lookout for it even though Vandenberg is over 200 miles as the crow flies from my house.

It’s carrying a secret payload, but given that the Atlas V is one of the biggest rockets out there, it’s either carrying a heavy payload inside its 17 foot diameter payload fairing, or it’s sending NRLO-35 into an unusual orbit (or even out of orbit).

Since January 2014, ULA has despatched eight Atlas Vs, four Delta IVs and one Delta II. Previously, in 2007—its very first full year of operations—ULA accomplished 16 launches of its Delta IV and Atlas V vehicles.

However, 2014 will snare the record for the greatest number of Atlas Vs launched in a single calendar year. Including NROL-35, no fewer than nine of these boosters will have flown from Vandenberg and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

Congrats to ULA for a very good year. If I happen to see the launch (my daughter has a basketball game that night, plus a storm front is moving in on Friday so it may be cloudy anyways), I’ll let you know.

Last night’s launch was scrubbed due to weather. I would have missed it anyways, since it was overcast where I was (daughter’s team won, 57-53, though). We’ll see if I can see it tonight.

Launch time is 7:13 p.m. PST.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2014/12/12/atlas-v-liftoff-from-vandenburg-afb-thursday-night/

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