Environment & Science

Vandenberg launches satellite after delays prompted by wildfire

Screenshot from DigitalGlobe
In this Monday, Sept. 19, 2016 photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, a fire burns several miles behind Space Launch Complex-3, housing the Atlas V rocket & WorldView 4 satellite, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Crews are working to surround the wildfire at the central California Air Force base that forced the postponement of a weekend satellite launch. The blaze has expanded to the south as it grew to more than 16 square miles.
Mike Eliason/AP


A commercial imaging satellite launched Friday morning from Vandenberg Air Force Base after being postponed because of a wildfire.

The Canyon Fire in September forced officials to scrap the launch of an Atlas V rocket that was carrying DigitalGlobe’s WorldView–4 imaging satellite.

Fire Tracker: Canyon Fire in Santa Barbara County

WorldView-4 is the latest in a series of imaging satellites built by Lockheed Martin, according to the Associated Press. Officials say the satellite will be able to spot the make of a car from nearly 400 miles above Earth.

The company counts Uber and Facebook among the tech industry giants that rely on its high-resolution map data.

It took this long to make another attempt because Vandenberg had to restore and test its infrastructure following the fire, the company said in a release last month.