A SpaceX rocket is set to launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Thursday, carrying satellites for the Space Development Agency’s constellation in low-Earth orbit.
SpaceX is targeting a 7:29 a.m. launch of its Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 4E, with a backup opportunity on Friday at the same time.
On Wednesday, SpaceX said teams were continuing to monitor weather conditions, which were 60% favorable for launch.
The space vehicles launched during the mission will serve as part of SDA’s Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture, a new layered network of satellites in low-Earth orbit and supporting elements that will provide global military communication and missile warning, indication and tracking capabilities, according to SpaceX.
The first stage booster supporting the mission previously launched one Starlink mission. Following stage separation, the first stage will land on Landing Zone 4 (LZ-4) at Vandenberg Space Force Base.
There is the possibility residents in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties may hear one or more sonic booms during the landing, but what residents experience will depend on weather and other conditions, SpaceX added.
How to watch Vandenberg rocket launch
The SpaceX launch will likely be viewable from around the Central Coast, depending on the weather conditions and whether Vandenberg’s infamous fog makes an appearance.
There are several viewing areas around the Lompoc area for those interested in watching the spectacle live.
Cars often line up along Ocean Avenue, also known as Highway 246, with hundreds of spectators sitting on top of their vehicles or on the side of the road waiting for the rocket to come shooting up over the hills.
Other popular viewing sites include spots along Firefighter, Harris Grade and Santa Lucia roads.
A live webcast of the launch will begin about five minutes prior to liftoff and can be watched online at www.spacex.com/launches/mission/?missionId=SDA-Tranche0A.
(c) 2023 The Tribune
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.