Air Force base wildfire postpones hi-res satellite launch
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A wildfire burning at a central California Air Force base on Sunday forced the postponement of a satellite launch, officials said.
An Atlas 5 rocket was to carry a satellite known as WorldView-4 into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The satellite is designed to produce high-resolution images of Earth from space.
The fire burning in a remote canyon didn't immediately threaten the space launch complex, Col. Paul Nosek said on the base's Facebook page. But he said firefighters needed to be redeployed from stand-by at the launch because of the blaze.
Nearly 800 firefighters were trying to corral the fire that was slightly less than a square mile in size.
No new date was set for the launch, Lt. William Collette said.
WorldView-4 is the latest in a series of imaging satellites built by Lockheed Martin. It is operated by Colorado-based DigitalGlobe, which provides images for government and private customers.
The satellite is designed to spot the make of a car from nearly 400 miles (643.71 kilometers) above Earth.