Fire out, launch on

Launch of the Cosmo SkyMed4 satellite aboard a Delta II from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., remains a “go” for 7:20 p.m. Sunday.

Vandenberg fire authorities report that “a few small pockets” remain to be cleaned up from the Bear Creek Fire that stated Thursday, but that it poses no threat to the base’s activities.

An arcing power line is cited as cause for the fire, which began near the SLC-3 launch complexes. No facilities were damaged by the blaze, which covered 1,253 acres as of Saturday afternoon.

There’s a bit of history involved in today’s launch. It is the 350th launch in the Delta program, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The Delta launch fleet is part of United Launch Alliance.

The Cosmo 4 completes the Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean-basic Observation (Cosmo) program. The three previous spacecraft are all operating from the same 619 km. orbit that Cosmo-4 will be placed in.

Built by Thales Alenia they will serve the Italian Space Agency and Italian Ministry of Defense.

The first was launched in June 2007. Their mission combines defense and security for Italy with seismic hazard analysis, environmental monitoring and agricultural mapping.


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