For the second time in 11 days, a Falcon 9 rocket will carry a group of Starlink satellites into orbit from Vandenberg Space Force Base.
Liftoff of the two-stage rocket built by Space Exploration Technologies will occur at 10:39 a.m. Thursday from Space Launch Complex-4 on South Base.
The rocket will place 46 Starlink satellites into space for the ongoing effort to create a constellation of craft to provide internet services around the globe, especially in remote areas where traditional land-based internet isn’t readily available or reliable.
This mission will occur 11 days after the last Falcon rocket mission from Vandenberg, where a Falcon rocket carried another 46 Starlink satellites into space.
The July 10 liftoff marked the fifth Starlink mission from the West Coast since the first one in September 2021.
After completing its chores, the rocket’s first-stage booster is slated to return for a landing on the drone ship, “Of Course I Still Love You,” in the Pacific Ocean south of the base.
A drone-ship landing means residents of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties likely won’t hear sonic booms that accompany the first-stage booster’s landing at Vandenberg.
The first-stage booster launching for Thursday’s Starlink mission has previously conducted two National Reconnaissance Office mission plus an Earth-observation satellite for the German military from Vandenberg.
The SpaceX rocket’s launch site can be seen from several locations around the Lompoc Valley, if the marine layer cooperates.
Those sites include the peak of Harris Grade Road, West Ocean Avenue and several locations in Vandenberg Village.
Dozens of SpaceX rocket launches have carried thousands of Starlink satellites into orbit with most of the missions occurring from Florida.
SpaceX typically provides a live webcast of the Falcon launch countdown attempts which can be seen at www.spacex.com or YouTube.
— Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.