SpaceX is set to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force in California no earlier than 6:13 a.m. PDT (9:13 a.m. EDT; 1313 GMT) Sunday with a top secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, the U.S. government’s spy satellite agency. The Falcon 9 booster will return to a vertical landing back at Vandenberg about eight minutes later. SpaceX delayed the launch from Friday due to a technical issue, then decided to skip a launch opportunity Saturday because of unfavorable upper level winds.
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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WEATHER FORCE MAIN:
WEATHER: Upper-level winds will not be an issue on the launch time like they were today. However, a Catalina Eddy will develop and bring the marine layer into the San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, and Inland Empire areas. This marine layer can bring clouds to the Ventura proper zones but not as much inland. Low clouds and fog will surround Solvang and Lompoc, but the beaches of Vandenberg and surrounding may actually be free of them, as would Santa Barbara proper. This is because a northwest wind will be present, not strong, but enough to push the low clouds south of the Channel Islands, affecting the more populated areas east of there into where I already said above.
The best place that would see the launch would be the Kern Valley zones and even a chance San Luis Obispo will be free of the low clouds and fog with that northwest wind. The entire High and Low Desert will also be free of them, including all mountain zones.
If you are planning on seeing this launch, use the map within this article and below for those locations. Locations in red = poor visibility with low clouds and/or fog.
This launch happens at a target time of 6:13am. Sunrise is a couple minutes after that so what you might see is a twilight effect and a visible contrail a long way from the base. All photographers good luck … as for us in the populated areas … better luck next time …
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