SpaceX launches Starlink satellites on first mission of the new year at Vandenberg SFB | Local news
Launch of the Falcon 9 rocket, built by Space exploration technologieswill target Monday night from Space Launch Complex-4 at the South Base.
The immediate launch opportunity is Monday at 8:15 p.m., with a backup opportunity for Tuesday at 8:02 p.m., SpaceX said Saturday.
The placement of the satellites in space determines the scheduled time for rocket launches.
Schippers were advised to stay out of the ocean area in front of the South Base from approximately 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday. Similarly, between 7:50 p.m. and 10:27 p.m. on Monday, pilots were notified of a space launch at Vandenberg.
Rocket launches can be delayed due to technical problems or adverse weather.
The 229-meter rocket will launch another set of Starlink satellites into orbit.
According to SpaceX, deployment of the 51 satellites will begin 29 minutes after launch.
Starlink, a SpaceX-led company, is deploying thousands of satellites to create a constellation to provide Internet access to remote areas of the planet and places where service isn’t reliable.
So far, SpaceX has launched 3,666 satellites into orbit, but only 3,107 spacecraft were operational on Friday, according to a online counting by Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer and astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and author/editor of a newsletter detailing satellite launches.
Eight minutes after launch, SpaceX plans to land the spent first stage booster on a drone ship, dubbed “Of course I still love you,” positioned in the Pacific Ocean several hundred miles south of the Central Coast .
That means local residents won’t hear the sonic booms that typically accompany a return to Vandenberg.
SpaceX rocket launches and landings typically draw spectators to the Lompoc Valley.
Vandenberg has limited access, but several locations in the Lompoc Valley provide views of the launch and landing sites, which are south of West Ocean Avenue (Highway 246).
The locations are west of Lompoc, the top of Harris Grade Road, and near the intersection of Moonglow and Stardust Roads. Providence landing parkat 699 Mercury Ave. in Vandenberg Village, is also a popular meeting spot, along with West Ocean Avenue west of the Lompoc city limits.
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