Launch at Vandenberg tomorrow: Missile Interceptor

Time of launch is during the morning between 7-11 am. But here’s an article in the Lompoc Record about its purpose:

For the first time, a missile defense interceptor is set to fly from Vandenberg Air Force Base in a test to collect data, and not necessarily to collide with a target weapon that is set to launch from Alaska.

The $85 million test for the Missile Defense Agency is scheduled between 7 and 11 a.m. Thursday, with the 54-foot-long interceptor built by Orbital Sciences Corp. blasting out of an underground silo on north Vandenberg.

About 15 minutes later, a target weapon is scheduled to launch from Fort Greely, Alaska, according to Richard Lehner, a Missile Defense Agency spokesman.

Somewhere above the Pacific Ocean, several hundred miles west of Vandenberg, the weapons will draw near. However, an actual intercept isn’t necessarily expected, officials said.

“That’s really not the objective,â€? Lehner said, adding that while officials don’t intend to hit the target, the interceptor could collide with it if the pair wind up in the same path.

“It’s really an end-game, data-collection exercise to collect data about the target through the intercept sensors … to see what it can see. This obviously is to make the system better.â€?

One response to “Launch at Vandenberg tomorrow: Missile Interceptor”

  1. BMDSfacts

    Just to clarify, the Lompoc record was a bit confused – the target vehicle from Alaska will launch BEFORE the interceptor from Vandenberg. Also, the target will launch from Kodiak Island (Kodiak Launch Complex) not Ft. Greely.