Eleven in Eleven

The 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., is on trajectory for 11 space launches in 2011, one more than last year. “2011 is shaping up to be just as busy a time for us,” Col. Richard Boltz, 30th SW commander, told members of the local chambers of commerce, reported the Lompoc Record. Last week’s Delta IV Heavy launch kicked off the year. Next up is a Minotaur launch on Feb. 5 and an Atlas V shot on March 12, both carrying classified intelligence satellites, followed by a Minotaur mission on Aug. 10 to place a military payload in space. NASA plans to fire at least three rockets carrying government and commercial payloads. Vandy officials aim to increase Minuteman operational test shots from three last year to four. They also plan to host the landing of an Air Force X-37B reusable unmanned orbital vehicle.