SpaceX Launch Delays Beach Re-Opening

Sunday Plans Push Back Surf Beach Opening

Tracy Lehr, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Reporter, tracy@keyt.com
POSTED: 10:11 AM PDT Sep 27, 2013    UPDATED: 09:19 PM PDT Sep 27, 2013 
VANDENBERG AFB, Calif. -

Weekend plans to launch a rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base will delay the re-opening of Surf Beach.

"SpaceX" flight and ground systems will be evaluated as the Air Force launches a Falcon 9 rocket some time after 9:00 a.m. on Sunday.

"This is a historic event for Vandenberg AFB and we are excited to be a part of it," said Commander Lt. Col. Joseph Imwalle.  "The Squadron is committed to making the new process ... successful and to achieve the vision of more affordable operational spacelift capabilities for the Department of Defense without compromising reliability."

Surf Beach was scheduled to re-open on Saturday, after closing in June to protect the Western Snowy Plover bird species during its mating season.  The eggs and chicks are protected because they blend in with the sand which could be stepped on by beach goers.

Surf Beach is now scheduled to re-open to people on Tuesday October 1.  When the beach does re-open, no horses or ATVs will be allowed.  Pets must be kept on leashes.