The Space Exploration Technologies rocket’s liftoff will aim for an instantaneous window at 4:56 p.m. Monday from Space Launch Complex-4 on the South Base.
The 230-foot-tall rocket will carry 52 Starlink satellites for the SpaceX campaign to create a constellation of craft to provide Internet access around the globe.
If the launch is delayed, a backup opportunity is available Tuesday, with the launch time moving earlier to 4:35 p.m.
Launch times are determined by where the satellite needs to be in space.
This will be the fifth flight for the rocket’s first-stage booster, which also has delivered two National Reconnaissance Office payloads, a German Earth-observation spacecraft and one set of Starlink satellites after blasting off from Vandenberg.
Once it has completed its chores, the first-stage booster will land on the drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You,” positioned in the Pacific Ocean hundreds of miles away from Vandenberg.
That means Central Coast residents won’t hear sonic booms that accompany a first-stage booster’s return to Vandenberg.
SpaceX has launched eight Starlink missions from Vandenberg since September 2021. The firm has delivered more than 3,300 satellites into orbit, with most of those arriving in space courtesy of rocket launches from Florida.
For Vandenberg, the SpaceX launch will be the third in nine days with the final Delta IV Heavy rocket departing Sept. 24 and the first successful Firefly Aerospace Alpha rocket blasting off Saturday.
The SpaceX launch site can be seen from several spots around the Lompoc Valley, assuming the marine layer cooperates.
Popular viewing sites include the west end of Ocean Avenue, the peak of Harris Grade Road and several spots around Vandenberg Village.
A webcast of the mission can be found at spacex.com and is scheduled to begin about five minutes before the launch.