Wildfire At Vandenberg Air Force Base Might Affect SpaceX Payload, Launchpad

A wildfire, which broke out on Saturday at Vandenberg Air Force Base, in Lompoc, California, grew to more than 10,542 acres as of early Tuesday morning, and was raging near both the launch pad and payload preparation areas for an upcoming SpaceX mission. SpaceX--which already has launch pad issues in Florida, due to the unexplained explosion of a SpaceX Falcon last month--has a launchpad at Vandenberg for flights. In addition, there are a number of Iridium satellites being prepared for future SpaceX launches currently on site. Vandenberg Air Force Base is just north of Santa Barbara, along the coast. SpaceX competitor United Launch Alliance (ULA) has put an imminent launch on hold at Vandenberg, due to the fire. Vandenberg Air Force Base was set to give an update to the press on progress against the fire at 2pm PST on Tuesday afternoon. Photo courtesy the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.