New space launch infrastructure coming up at Vandenberg Air Force Base

The base is looking to extend its business activity as more private companies develop launch vehicles. Companies like Firefly and Relativity Space are looking at launching rockets from Vandenberg.

New space launch infrastructure coming up at Vandenberg Air Force Base
New space launch infrastructure coming up at Vandenberg Air Force Base

New space launch infrastructure coming up at Vandenberg Air Force Base

The State of California announced an agreement with the U.S. Space Force and others to develop a commercial space launch infrastructure at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The base is looking to extend its business activity as more private companies develop launch vehicles. Companies like Firefly and Relativity Space are looking at launching rockets from Vandenberg.

As reported by SpaceNews, Chris Dombrowski, acting director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development said that space investment is a piece of a larger strategy for economic development in the central coast region.

He added that the organizations under the MOU will develop a “master plan that identifies the specified infrastructure, human capital development, governance and financing necessary to support the U.S. Space Force mission and position California as a pacesetter within the way forward for the commercial space industry.”

He explained further “this MOU serves as a critical investment in California’s innovative economy as we work to safely recover from the COVID-19 induced recession.”

Col. Anthony Mastalir, 30th Space commanding officer, said this agreement aligns with the Defense Department’s space strategy that involves closer ties with the private sector.

Mastalir said Aug. 5 on a virtual forum hosted by Deloitte “The space lift industry requires an environment stimulated by opportunity. Vandenberg Air Force Base is ready to supply the technical support and insight so commercial providers can better navigate the challenges of working within the central coast.”

There have been a total of 25 launches from Vandenberg’s north and south ranges since 2018, according to the 30th Space Wing:

  • 2 Missile Defense Agency Orbital Boost Vehicles
  • 1 United Launch Alliance Delta 2
  • 10 Minuteman missile launches
  • 1 intermediate-range ballistic missile test
  • 1 United Launch Alliance Atlas 5
  • 2 United Launch Alliance Delta 4
  • 8 SpaceX Falcon 9