Central Coast space enthusiasts are likely to get an early-afternoon Halloween treat with the launch of an Orbital ATK rocket Oct. 31 from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
An Orbital ATK Minotaur-C rocket is scheduled to blast off from VAFB’s Space Launch Complex 576-E at 2:37 p.m. on Halloween day. The rocket will carry with it 10 Earth-imaging satellites for Planet, a company that specializes in providing high-resolution satellite images that can be utilized for a wide range of services.
Col. Greg Wood, the 30th Space Wing vice commander at VAFB, is the space launch commander.
“Our unique geographic location makes Vandenberg an ideal place to launch commercial imaging satellites,” Wood said, according to VAFB public affairs. “We are excited to partner with Orbital ATK to make this mission a reality.”
The mission will primarily consist of Planet sending six of its SkySats and four of its Dove spacecrafts into orbit. The satellites will increase the company's expansive constellation currently in space.
The launch had previously been planned for Oct. 17, but it was pushed back at the request of Orbital, which released a statement in early October that said the company wanted more time for testing.