RE: Pegasus/DART Launch

From: Brian Webb (
Date: Thu Nov 04 2004 - 09:07:33 EST

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    Hi Robert:
    How Vandenberg AFB satellite and strategic missile launches are scheduled is
    interesting and something that isn't discussed much here.
    The southern California coast has a huge joint Navcy-Air Force range with
    numerous Navy and Air Force radars, telemetry receiving antennas,
    communications sites, airfields, etc. The area offshore is divided into
    numerous polygons referred to as "warning areas" and "restricted areas" that
    are selectively closed as needed in support of U.S. government operations.
    Various organizations ask the Department of Defense for range time for
    various purposes. These could range from:
      - A Marine Corps F/A-18 fighter squadron asking for a block of time to
        conduct a routine air-to-air missile exercise involving unmanned
        target drones to train its aviators
      - The Navy wanting to test fire a Tomahawk cruise missile from the torpedo
        tube of a submerged submarine
      - The Navy wanting to place a new warship in the water and verify that all
        of the systems (including shipborne radars and weapons systems) are
        working as intended
      - The Air Force wanting to test a new aircraft (i.e., F-22) or a
        modification to an existing aircraft type
    An organization that needs to use the range makes a request to the range
    scheduling office. The scheduling people take various factors into account
    and schedule the requesting organization for a specific date and time and
    reserves for them use of specific range assets.
    Sometimes satellite and strategic missile launches have a lower priority
    than other operations and are scheduled accordingly. The range out here gets
    rather busy.
    Brian Webb
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Robert Holdsworth []
    Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2004 12:33 AM
    To: Seesat List
    Subject: Re: Pegasus/DART Launch
    The DART launch is now slated for no earlier than November 9th
    Is it possible that the NOTAM refers to the "other operations" which use
    resources causing the DART launch to be delayed? i.e maybe military launch
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Brian Webb" <>
    To: "See-Sat" <>
    Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2004 3:53 PM
    Subject: Pegasus/DART Launch
    > Hi All:
    > I called Vandenberg AFB this morning at 18:00 UTC and the spokeswoman said
    > the Pegasus/DART launch was not scheduled for November 4 and that there
    > no launch date (see the media advisory below).
    > The range is busy now and the Pegasus/DART launch and X-43A Mach 10 flight
    > are having to compete with other operations. One issue appears to be
    > competition for range assets and resources (especially the P-3 range
    > aircraft at Point Mugu).
    > The NOTAM that Allen posted today is apparently related to a U.S. Navy op.
    > The coordinates didn't look right because the Pegasus XL launch point is
    > normally 36.00 north, 123.00 west.
    > Regards.
    > Brian Webb
    > --------------------------------------------------------
    > MEDIA ADVISORY: M04-174
    >      The launch of NASA's DART spacecraft aboard an Orbital
    > Sciences Pegasus XL rocket, targeted for Thursday, Nov. 4, is
    > being postponed. Availability of the Western Range and the
    > lingering effects of solar activity are the primary reasons
    > for the postponement. A new launch date is under review.
    > -end-
    > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
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