Watch SpaceX launch Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base
Get ready for a big rocket racket.
Vandenberg Air Force Base has confirmed it will launch a SpaceX rocket for the Canadian Space Agency at 7:17 a.m. Wednesday, and officials are warning residents in surrounding counties that it might make a bit more noise than usual.
The launch will use SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. It’s the first rocket to be able to re-used for multiple launches, a landmark move in making commercial space launches more affordable.
According to a Vandenberg Air Force Base news release, when the rocket separates from its payload, it will return and land at Landing Zone 4 at the Air Force base near Lompoc.
When it does so, local residents might be able to see the rocket return, including engine burns associated with the landing, according to the release.
During that time, residents from San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties could hear one or more sonic booms, officials warned.
A sonic boom is the sound made from shock waves from an aircraft or vehicle traveling faster than the speed of sound, according to the release. It sounds similar to an explosion or clap of thunder.
The boom isn’t guaranteed.
According to the release, it is depending on weather conditions and other factors.
If you want to watch the launch, the official launch viewing area from the Hawk’s Nest on Azalea Lane off of Highway 1 will be open at 6 a.m. Wednesday. It’s located a mile south of Vandenberg’s main gate.
For more information on the launch or public viewing locations, visit the 30th Space Wing Facebook page.
Do you go see all of the rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base? SLO Tribune Reporter Kaytlyn Leslie is writing about the base and its space missions and would like to hear from you. Where are your favorite places to watch from? What are your tips and tricks for capturing the best photos? Favorite launches? Email Kaytlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your love of the final frontier and help shape The Tribune’s coverage.