VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — After numerous problems with a Titan II rocket carrying a military weather satellite, and with another Titan II launch fast approaching, the 2nd Space Launch Squadron decided to take an unprecedented route.

They recently defueled and destacked the rocket for repairs off base and are now preparing for the June launch of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather satellite with another Titan II rocket.

“This was a first for us,” said Lt. Col. Clint Crosier, 2nd SLS commander. “The only time we’d ever conducted a destack was on a Pathfinder test rocket and we’d never defueled one.”

Each booster is specifically configured for its respective payload, making it impossible to re-use an already configured booster.

“Because of this, we’re unable to take one satellite off and replace it with another,” said Crosier.

Crews finished performing corrosion control maintenance to the Titan II’s space launch complex last week. They began stacking the boosters for the second Titan II mission.

The NOAA satellite will be shipped to the base within the next few weeks for overall payload processing and integration to the booster.