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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to launch Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, carry several satellites

SpaceX entry at Vandenberg AFB. (Steve Jurvetson/Flickr)

Several small satellites are slated to be sent into orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that is scheduled for liftoff Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The launch of the “Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express” mission is planned for a window between 10:31 and 11 a.m. PST from VAFB’s Space Launch Complex-4E.

The rocket is on track to carry about 70 satellites, including so-called microsatellites and CubeSats, from various providers throughout the world, including some U.S. government agencies.

The payload was configured by Spaceflight, a Seattle-based launch services company. By having the satellites together in a rideshare setting, the cost of the launch is spread across many customers.

Among the satellites that will be part of the mission will be the Pathfinder II from Helios Wire, an Internet of Things, or IoT, connectivity company. The Pathfinder II satellite is planned to be the first of a 28-satellite constellation the company intends to deploy for global IoT coverage.

“This is undoubtedly an exciting leap forward for us and a foundational component of our future constellation,” Helios Wire CEO and co-founder Scott Larson said in a statement on the company’s website. “We expect it will shake up the way people think about IoT connectivity, in terms of application types that can be layered on top of the network, specifically analytics and blockchain. We’re very grateful to our team and partners for helping us reach this milestone and we remain focused on expanding our market opportunities and completing our next group of satellites.”

Officials with VAFB’s 30th Space Wing recommend that members of the public who wish to view the launch gather at the Hawk’s Nest on Azalea Lane off Highway 1, about a half mile south of VAFB’s main gate.

The Hawk’s Nest gates will open at 9 a.m. Monday, according to base officials, and close no later than 10:15 a.m.

“As a reminder, the public is asked not to bring or consume alcohol, smoke, nor have any open fires or barbecues,” read a portion of a statement from the 30th Space Wing. “Campers, RVs, trailers are also not allowed. Weapons are banned, additionally, [and] the use of small unmanned aerial systems within five miles of any active runway, such as Vandenberg’s, is prohibited.”


© 2018 Santa Maria Times, Calif.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.