NPP arrives at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Credit: NASA/Jerry Nagy
Vandenberg AFB is a Department of Defense space and missile testing base, with a mission of placing satellites into polar orbit from the West Coast using expendable boosters (Pegasus, Taurus, Minotaur, Atlas V, and Delta IV) and reusable boosters (SpaceX’s Falcon 9). Wing personnel also support the Service’s LGM-30G Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Force Development Evaluation program.
In addition to its military mission, the base also leases launch pad facilities to SpaceX (SLC-4E), as well as 100 acres (40 ha) leased to the California Spaceport in 1995.