California and Vandenberg Space Force Base are preparing for more west coast space launches in the coming years. They are planning and building infrastructures for future space launches.
Commercial space launches are growing as private companies, like SpaceX, launch their rockets in the state of California. Due to that, Vandenberg Space Force Station has never been as busy as the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Companies have planned to increase activity in west coast launch pads overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
VANDENBERG AFB, Calif. — At Vandenberg Space Force Base (formerly Vandenberg Air Force Base), Calif., the gantry at Space Launch Complex 3E rolls back from NASA’s Landsat Data Continuity Mission, or LDCM, satellite mounted atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The Landsat Data Continuity Mission LDCM is the future of Landsat satellites. It will continue to obtain valuable data and imagery to be used in agriculture, education, business, science, and government.
Commercial Space Launches in the West Coast
Col. Anthony Mastalir, commander of Vandenberg’s launch range and personnel, said that SpaceX would begin launching Starlink satellites from Vandenberg in a couple of months.
“Just within the last couple of months, we’ve seen SpaceX put half a dozen Falcon 9 launches on the manifest to complete their Starlink constellation and hit the higher orbits they need to hit,” Mastalir said according to UPI.
He added that new companies are leasing launch pads at Vandenberg for SpaceX and United Launch Alliance. The reorganization of Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg means that they have excellent coordination under the new US Space Force.
Some of the space launches expected on the west coast are those of Texas-based Firefly Aerospace with their new Firefly Alpha and Los Angeles-based Relativity Space who is expected to create new jobs and invest in launch infrastructure in Vandenberg.
Why Are Companies Attracted to Space Launches on the West Coast?
Breitbart reported that the polar orbit attracts companies for West Coast space launches because they can launch satellites southward safely over the ocean from Vandenberg.
It is also the reason why the US government has launched missiles and rockets throughout history. Although Polar launches are also possible in Florida, it does not have the best geography for the Polar space launch.
Space Launch Delta 30, led by Mastair, has signed a memorandum with the state of California and Santa Barbara County and colleges to collaborate on the growth of space business on the west coast, particularly around Vandenberg Space Force Base.
Preparing for Possible New Growth
The new space force base has started an environmental assessment on the site to prepare for the possible growth brought by the growing numbers of space launches on the west coast.
They are also planning to add new high-speed fiber communications in the southern half of the base, which is relatively underdeveloped.
Andrew Hackleman, chief operating officer at REACH Central Coast, said that Relativity and Firefly are looking into hiring dozens of people from near Vandenberg.
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