Vandenberg Launch This Evening

From: Brian Webb (
Date: Sat Jul 14 2001 - 08:27:08 PDT

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    Hi All:
    Here's some info on this evening's missile launch from Vandenberg AFB. Obervers
    in Nevada, southwest Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico should pay particular
    attention to this launch. It may occur during dusk or evening twilight for them
    and provide an interesting sight.
    Also, those of you in California might also have a nice display, depending on
    when the missile is actually launched. The 19:00 - 22:00 PDT time frame may be
    the block of range time that was reserved for the test, and not the actual launch
    I have a hunch that it's going to go at sunset at Vandenberg or during dusk, but
    my hunch could be wrong.
    Brian Webb
    			 Brian Webb, KD6NRP
    		     Ventura County, California
    	      Web Site:
    				       2001 July 13 (Friday) 15:30 PDT
    		Vandenberg Missile Launch this Saturday
    An MSLS (modified Minuteman II) missile is scheduled for launch from
    Vandenberg AFB tomorrow evening as part of a missile defense test. The
    refurbished ICBM is slated to be launched from a silo at northwest
    Vandenberg between 19:00 and 22:00 PDT* and send an unarmed warhead
    and decoy towards the central Pacific. Several minutes later, an
    interceptor will be launched from Meck Island in an effort to
    intercept and kill the warhead.
    For detailed information on viewing Vandenberg AFB missile launches,
    go to Be advised that
    this page is a rough draft and is still under development.
    To obtain countdown status, consult the following sources:
    KEYT-TV, channel 3, Santa Barbara. If you have a police scanner with
    extended receive capability, you can tune in the audio portion of
    KEYT's programming on 65.750 MHz using FM wide mode.
    KEYT-AM news radio, 1250 KHz, Santa Barbara
    Vandenberg Launch Net, 147.000 and 224.900 MHz, WB6OOB ham radio
    repeater, Santa Barbara. This repeater has very wide coverage and can
    be heard from San Luis Obispo to San Diego. Current plans are to
    convene a launch net on this repeater at T-30 minutes (6:30 p.m.).
    * The Defense Department originally announced that the launch window
    was 18:00 - 22:00 PDT, but later changed it to 19:00 - 22:00. The MSLS
    may be launched as soon as the launch window opens at 19:00 or it may
    be launched much later.
    United States Department of Defense
    IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 6, 2001 
    As part of the Defense Department's ongoing robust research and
    development effort for missile defense, the Ballistic Missile Defense 
    Organization (BMDO) will conduct a flight test to include the planned 
    intercept of a long-range ballistic missile target on Saturday, July
    14, 2001. The flight test launch window is scheduled for 9 p.m. to 1
    a.m. EDT [this was later revised to 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. EDT, editor]. 
    The test will involve the launch of a Multi-Service Launch System
    (MSLS) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The MSLS, a modified
    Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile, will carry a mock
    warhead and a single decoy. About 20 minutes after the MSLS is
    launched, and about 4,800 miles away, a prototype interceptor missile
    carrying a prototype exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV) will launch
    from the Ronald Reagan Missile Test Facility at Kwajalein Atoll in the
    Republic of the Marshall Islands. About 10 minutes later the intercept
    should take place at an altitude of approximately 140 miles above the
    central Pacific Ocean during the midcourse phase of the target
    warhead's flight. 
    This will be an integrated system test, with all representative system
    elements participating: space-based missile warning sensor; ground-
    based early warning radar; the prototype X-Band radar at Kwajalein
    Atoll; and the battle management, command, control and communications
    system located at the Joint National Test Facility in Colorado
    Springs, Colo. Since the system is in its research and development
    phase, these elements serve as either prototypes or surrogates for
    system elements which are in the developmental stage and have not yet
    been produced for actual operational use. 
    This will be the fourth intercept test of the Midcourse Defense
    Segment (formerly National Missile Defense) research and development
    program. The first test on Oct. 3, 1999 resulted in the successful
    intercept of a ballistic missile target. The second test took place on
    Jan. 19, 2000 and did not achieve an intercept due to a clogged
    cooling pipe on the EKV, but did successfully test the integrated
    system of elements. The third test, on July 8, 2000, did not result in
    an intercept due to the failure of the EKV to separate from the
    booster rocket. 
    More information can be obtained at the BMDO website,
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