Environment & Science

Vandenberg launches satellite after delays prompted by wildfire

digitalglobe worldview satellite
Screenshot from DigitalGlobe
digitalglobe worldview satellite
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.