This year’s third Falcon 9 rocket lifted off Thursday afternoon from Vandenberg Air Force Base en route to delivering an Earth observation satellite for Taiwan’s National Space Organization to a low-earth orbit.
The Space Exploration Technologies booster and its international cargo blasted off at 11:51 a.m., the beginning of a 42-minute launch window from Space Launch Complex-4 on South Base.
In Vandenberg Village and around the Lompoc Valley, cloudy skies cleared to give spectators a view as the Falcon climbed away from the Central Coast, where Taiwanese dignataries and international media gathered for the small country’s historical moment.
Vandenberg AFB posted a 48-second video of the launch and spectator’s reactions to its YouTube channel.
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Noozhawk editor Janene Scully contributed to this report.