Articles

Brian Webb (102670.1206@CompuServe.COM)
16 Aug 97 16:03:46 EDT

Here are some extracts from an e-mail based newsletter that I publish. If you are 
interested in these articles, I can continue to post selected articles to this news
group.

Regards,

Brian Webb

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			       Launch Observations

  Last month's daylight launch of a Delta II booster with five Iridium satel-
  lites from Vandenberg AFB was seen by Don Peterson. Here are his comments:

  "...I observed the Delta II launch yesterday morning 9 July, at 6:04 am, about
  15 minutes after sunrise here in Ridgecrest.  The launch was quite impressive,
  with an orange flame and long exhaust trail as the rocket arched southward to
  put 5 Iridium satellites into polar orbit.  Ridgecrest is some 185 miles from
  the launch site..."

  On Friday afternoon, August 1st, a Pegasus launch vehicle placed the SEAWIF
  satellite into a polar orbit. The launch vehicle was air-dropped from an
  L-1011 aircraft based at Vandenberg AFB. The drop occurred at an altitude of
  40,000 feet and about 60 miles off of California's central coast.

  That afternoon two coworkers and I stood outside of our office in Camarillo
  (about 100 miles SE of Vandenberg) and looked for the Pegasus launch, but we
  we didn't see anything....but we only watched from 13:17-13:20; the launch may
  have occurred about two minutes later. However, Dan in San Jose saw it and
  sent me the following message:

  "Awesome! I saw the SEAWIF launch, just now, in the southern sky of San Jose.
  Classic rocket exhaust, no more than 10 degrees above the horizon, horizontal
  at first, and then arcing upward (I saw the vapor trail as it was being made,
  on the upward flight)..."
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			  Vandenberg AFB Launch Schedule
			  As of Thursday AUG 14 18:00 PDT

              Note: California uses PDT from mid-April to mid-October.
              PDT = UTC - 7 hours; PST = UTC - 8 hours

	     Launch
	   Time/Window     Launch
   Date     (PST/PDT)      Vehicle                  Comments
  
   AUG?   22:00-02:00   Titan IV       Payload is reconnaissance satellite
   
  AUG 17    17:55:30    Delta II       Payload is five Iridium satellites

AUG 21-22 23:51-00:07   LMLV           Payload is Lewis satellite

  AUG 28   07:30-09:00  Pegasus XL     Payload is FORTE satellite. Missile will
				       be launched from aircraft staged from
				       Vandenberg AFB

  SEP 15     Unknown    Taurus         Payload is Geosat satellite

  SEP 17   01:01-07:01  Peacekeeper    ICBM test launch

  SEP 25     Unknown    Delta II       Payload is five Iridium satellites

   NOV       Unknown    Taurus         Payload is STEX spacecraft

  NOV 05   00:01-06:01  Peacekeeper    ICBM test launch

  NOV 08     Unknown    Delta II       Payload is five Iridium satellites

   DEC       Unknown    Pegasus XL     Payload is TRACE satellite. Missile will
				       be launched from aircraft staged from
				       Vandenberg AFB

   DEC       Unknown    Delta II       Payload is Argos, Orsted, and Sunsat
				       satellites

  DEC 01     Unknown    LMLV           Payload is Clark satellite

  DEC 15     Unknown    Pegasus XL     Payload is ORBCOMM and SNOE satellites.
				       Missile will be launched from aircraft
				       staged from Vandenberg AFB

  JAN 16     Unknown    Minuteman II   Ballistic missile defense test?

  FEB 17     Unknown    Titan II       Payload is NOAA-K satellite

  FEB 18   00:01-06:01  Minuteman III  ICBM test launch

  MAY 03    00:01-Unk   Minuteman III  ICBM test launch. First missile of a two
				       missile scenario

  MAY 03     Unknown    Minuteman III  ICBM test launch. Second missile of a two
				       missile scenario

Launches are often rescheduled several times. For current launch status, call
the Vandenberg Launch Update Line at 805-734-8232 ext. 61857. 

If a launch window is given, an attempt will be made to launch at the start of
the window. If a problem is encountered, the launch could be delayed and occur
at any time in the window, or be rescheduled for another day.

The above table was compiled from unclassified information obtained from Vanden-
berg AFB Public Affairs, the Kennedy Space Center, and other sources.
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