The planned Sunday morning launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying dozens of satellites has been delayed at least a day at Vandenberg Space Force Base.
“To complete pre-launch checkouts, now targeting Monday, January 30, for launch of Starlink and D-Orbit’s ION SCV009 Eclectic Elena…,” Space Exploration Technologies representatives said on Twitter.
A Monday liftoff attempt will aim for 8:34 a.m. from Space Launch Complex-4 on South Base.
If needed, the team has an additional launch opportunity at 12:31 p.m. Monday.
The payload’s planned placement in space determines rocket launch times.
The Falcon rocket , standing 229 feet tall, will deliver some 49 Starlink satellites into orbit as SpaceX continues to expand its constellation of craft to provide internet access to remote areas of the world.
Also hitching a ride for this mission will be D-Orbit’s ION SCV009 Eclectic Elena carrying several other missions.
D-Orbit, an international space logistics and orbital transportation firm with offices in Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States, has developed a satellite carrier to help small payloads get to space.
SpaceX intends to land the first-stage booster on a droneship, dubbed “Of Course I Still Love You,” positioned in the Pacific Ocean hundreds of miles from the Central Coast.
That means residents in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties won’t hear the sonic booms that accompany a first-stage return to land at Vandenberg.
The first-stage booster has already carried spy satellites, a NASA spacecraft and other Starlink satellites into orbit.
Vandenberg has restricted access, but several locations around the Lompoc Valley provide views of the launch site, which is south of West Ocean Avenue (Highway 246).
The locations include west of Lompoc, the peak of Harris Grade Road, and near the intersection of Moonglow and Stardust roads. Providence Landing Park, at 699 Mercury Ave. in Vandenberg Village, also is a popular gathering spot along with West Ocean Avenue west of the Lompoc’s city limits.