On October 28, 2011 at 09:48 UTC the United Launch Alliance-made "Delta-2” rocket-carrier was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base along California's central coastline, USA.
The rocket orbited the NPP (NPOESS Preparatory Project) [NPOESS - National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System] weather satellite. The satellite will provide weather forecasts. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will use the NPP satellite to help track ash plumes from volcanic eruptions, to accurate measure the amount of Arctic sea ice and changes in the ozone hole, to monitor phyidoplankton and other organisms in the oceans.
The Delta-2 rocket also orbited a number of small satellites: M-Cubed, AubieSat-1, E1PU2 (Explorer-1 Prime, Unit 2), RAX-2 (Radio Aurora Explorer), DICE-1 and DICE-2 (Dynamic Ionosphere CubeSat Experiment).
For the Delta 2 rocket, it was the rocket’s 151st successful launch for over the past 22 years.