KODIAK LAUNCH COMPLEX, Alaska — An Air Force and aerospace industry team successfully launched a Quick Reaction Launch Vehicle from here April 27 on a sub-orbital flight along the West Coast of North America.

The rocket flew for a little more than seven minutes before impacting the ocean as scheduled approximately 605 kilometers downrange.

This was the fourth sounding rocket launched by the Air Force in four years from the commercial launch facility here. The Air Force previously launched two atmospheric interceptor technology rockets from the Kodiak Launch Complex in November 1998 and September 1999, and another QRLV in March 2001. All the rocket flights have been in a southeasterly direction from Kodiak Island.

The primary objective of the QRLV mission was to provide a theater ballistic missile scenario in support of the Alaskan Command Northern Edge 2002 exercise. The Northern Edge exercise is an annual joint-service training exercise involving more than 7,500 troops from all branches of the
U.S. military and Canadian Forces.

The flight of the QRLV rocket, a 30-foot long single-stage vehicle weighing approximately 14,000 pounds, allowed Northern Edge participants to execute defensive strategies and test response scenarios that would occur during an actual ballistic missile attack.