SpaceX rocket launch delayed by weather rescheduled for this weekend

A Falcon 9 rocket and its collection of satellites will try to get off the ground Sunday morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Liftoff of the Space Exploration Technologies rocket is scheduled to occur between 10:32 a.m. and 11:01 a.m. from Space Launch Complex-4 on South Base.

The booster will carry Spaceflight Industries payload dubbed SSO-A: SmallSat Express.

The launch has been delayed twice to give the team more time for pre-flight chores and then to wait out rainy, windy weather.

Vandenberg officials have said the public can view the launch from the Hawk’s Nest on Azalea Lane off Highway 1, a 1/2-mile south of Vandenberg’s main gate.

The Hawk’s Nest will open at 9 a.m. and close at 10:15 a.m.

Alcohol, smoking, barbecues and weapons are not allowed at the site.

Additionally, the use of small unmanned aerial systems, or drones, is prohibited within 5 miles of any active runway, such as Vandenberg’s.

The launch site south of Ocean Avenue also is visible from several locations around the Lompoc Valley, including along West Highway 246, the peak of Harris Grade Road and near the intersection of Moonglow and Stardust roads in Vandenberg Village.

The Falcon rocket launch will be the first of two blastoffs set for next week.

On Dec. 7, United Launch Alliance’s Delta 4 Heavy will carry a classified satellite to orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office for a mission called NROL-71

While the actual launch window for the mission remains classified, liftoff of the behemoth booster is expected at 8:19 p.m.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at jscully@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.
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