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    Missile Launch Seen From LB

    Vandenberg launch, Sept. 22/05(Sept. 23, 2005) -- A number of LB residents reported seeing a strange cloud formation in the western sky at dusk yesterday (Sept. 22). It was from a missile launch at Vandenberg AFB.

    Following a newstip from a reader (thank you), here's what we saw from's ELB world HQ shortly after 8:00 p.m. (A LB resident said he saw the missile trail headed skyward before the clouds began swirling in the atmosphere.)

    Minotaur rocket
    File photo. Source: Vandenberg AFB website
    Shortly after 8 a.m. today (Sept. 23), Vandenberg AFB released the following statement:

    "Team Vandenberg successfully launched a Minotaur rocket at 7:24 p.m. [Sept. 22] from Space Launch Complex-8 on South Vandenberg. The rocket launched the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Streak spacecraft...

    The Minotaur rocket is a ground-based variant of Orbital Sciences Corporation's air-launched Pegasus rocket. It is capable of launching up to 3,000 pounds into a low-Earth orbit and up to 800 pounds into geosynchronous transfer orbit."

    30th Space Wing Commander Col. Jack Weinstein is quoted in the release as saying, "Vandenberg is committed to supporting America’s objective of providing assured access to space. Our partnerships with defense and civil space agencies like Orbital Sciences Corp. and DARPA are key to meeting that objective."

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