A satellite was launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Sunday in a demonstration of the installation's ability to send small, tactical payloads into space.
Launch of the "Space Safari" satellite, dubbed the TacRL-2 mission, occurred shortly after 1 a.m. and was carried into space on a Pegasus XL rocket, according to Col. Robert Long, commander of Space Launch Delta 30 and launch decision authority.
In addition to launch permission, Space Launch Delta 30 provided range safety, area clearing and weather support.
"Our mission partners and Delta 30 team demonstrated the Space Force tactical response capability to launch small satellite payloads within three weeks," Long said. "It takes a resilient team providing agile services and responsiveness to our launch customers for mission success. I want to thank our launch partners and our Delta 30 team for their efforts providing space access for this important tactical response demonstration."
A new commander of Space Launch Delta 30 will be welcomed Friday during a change-of-command ceremony at Vandenberg Space Force Base.
The mission was executed by the Small Launch and Targets Division within the Space and Missile Systems Center Launch Enterprise located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, according to Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, the Space and Missile Systems Center commander and program executive officer for space.
Additionally, Northrop Gruman built the rocket, which is designed to carry small payloads weighing up to 1,000 pounds into low Earth orbit. The rocket also was used in the testing of hypersonic flight capabilities at Edwards Air Force Base, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
“Each national security space mission takes unity of effort across multiple teams and organizations," Thompson said. "From requirements development to the delivery of assets on orbit, and everything in between, a successful launch is a huge testament to the skill and dedication at SMC and across the Space Force. I’m especially proud of SMC’s ability to provide capability for the nation, our allies and partners, and the warfighter at the speed of relevance."