[AZ-Observing] FW: [Launch Alert] White Sands Launch

  • From: "Rick Tejera" <saguaroastro@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 15:29:24 -0700

Not sure if this'll be visible, but you never know.

Clear Skies

Rick Tejera
Editor SACnews,
Public Outreach Coordinator
Saguaro Astronomy Club
Phoenix, Arizona

-----Original Message-----
From: launch-alert-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:launch-alert-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Brian Webb
Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 15:00
To: Launch Alert
Subject: [Launch Alert] White Sands Launch

                             LAUNCH ALERT
                              Brian Webb
                     Ventura County, California

                                       2009 March 24 (Tuesday) 15:00 PDT

                       FORT WINGATE ROADBLOCK
               White Sands Missile Range News Release

Preparations are being completed at Fort Wingate near Gallup, N.M.,
for a Hera target missile firing from the old depot to White Sands
Missile Range.  The launch is tentatively scheduled for March 25
between 7 and 8 a.m. and may be viewed from Red Rock State Park. 

The Hera missile will drop a booster into an evacuated safety zone
during its flight to the missile range.  In addition to this safety
drop zone near Datil, N.M., there will be short safety roadblocks and
evacuations around the immediate Fort Wingate area - mostly to the
south and east. 

The roadblocks include the following:  New Mexico Route 400 between
the Fort Wingate historic monument and McGaffey Lake; Forest Route 191
between New Mexico Route 400 and six miles to the west; Forest Route
547 between Sixmile Spring and McGaffey Lake.  In addition, gates
along New Mexico Route 400 will be closed to passage. 

The roadblocks should last between two and four hours.  However,
traffic traveling straight through on New Mexico Route 400 will be
screened through up to 30 minutes before launch time. 

In addition to the roadblocks, Quaking Aspens campground will be
evacuated for the launch.  Since the firing will be in the early
morning, camping at the site will not be allowed the night before so
that National Forest Service officials can be assured the area is

The evacuation area for the booster drop zone is comprised of private
and national forest lands north of Datil and includes the northern
portion of the Datil Mountains.  The area is north of U.S. Highway 60,
west of State Highway 52 and east of Forest Road 6A.  Roadblocks on
the perimeter of the area will be set at 4 a.m.

The airspace over Fort Wingate and the booster drop zone will be
restricted for several hours for the launch.  The avoidance area will
be posted by the Federal Aviation Agency in the form of a Notice to
Airmen (NOTAM).  The airspace at the end of the flight is over White
Sands Missile Range and is already restricted.

Area residents may watch the launch from Red Rock State Park.  The
time of the launch is currently scheduled for between 7 and 8 a.m. 

There have been 12 target missions from Fort Wingate to White Sands
Missile Range.  The first mission was conducted in November 1997 and
the most recent Hera mission was in November 2004.


Copyright 2009 Brian Webb. All rights reserved. This newsletter may be
distributed in its entirety without restriction. Excerpts may not be
reprinted or posted elsewhere without prior permission.

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  • » [AZ-Observing] FW: [Launch Alert] White Sands Launch - Rick Tejera