VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Team Vandenberg successfully launched a
prototype rocket motor booster system today at 1 p.m. The system is
intended for future use with the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization’s
Ground-based Midcourse System. The purpose of this test was to verify
booster and system performance. There was no intercept attempt.

This launch was a team effort between the men and women of the 30th Space
Wing, Detachment 9 of the Space and Missile Systems Center and the Ground
Based Interceptor Program Office.

The booster carried a mock exoatmospheric kill vehicle to simulate the mass
and weight of an actual EKV to be used during future intercept tests. The
first intercept test using the new booster configuration is currently
planned for 2003.

Editor’s Note: Still photos will be released via e-mail approximately 2
hours after launch. Video of the launch will be available for pick up at
the Main Gate Visitor’s Center approximately 2 hours after launch.
Questions regarding the Ground-based Midcourse System should be directed to
Lt. Col. Rick Lehner, Ballistic Missile Defense Organization External
Affairs at (703) 604-3186 or (703) 697-8997.