Upcoming rocket launch nearby


Photo of Firefly’s first rocket launch blasting off. Taken by Jacob Rendon, under Creative Commons

A rocket will be launching within view of the Dos Pueblos campus on Monday, September 19th from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The rocket is owned by a new space and satellite startup called Firefly Aerospace, and will be attempting to launch at 3:00 pm on Monday afternoon. Accounting for potential technical issues, the rocket will likely be bringing its payload into space between 3:00 and 7:00 pm.

“Firefly Alpha is designed to address the needs of the burgeoning small–satellite market.” The Firefly press kit explained, “[This launch] is Firefly’s second technology demonstration flight that will attempt to launch multiple satellites to low Earth orbit.”

Firefly’s first launch ended in catastrophe on September 2nd, 2021, when their team lost control of the rocket’s engine, resulting in an explosion. Firefly has been taking it slow regarding their second launch, aborting three times last Sunday and once more on Monday.

Assuming its success, Monday’s launch will propel three new satellites into orbit around earth. These satellites will collect data for the educational community and test new satellite technologies.

The rocket will be visible from DP in the west to northwest sky, with ideal viewing angles from the football field and meadow to the west of the classroom H-block. Starting about an hour before the launch, “Everyday Astronaut” YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/EverydayAstronaut) will be streaming this pivotal moment for Firefly’s new rocket.


Update: The rocket launch, after several delays throughout the past two weeks, has been rescheduled. It will now be launching on October 1st, with a launch window between 12:01 and 2:00 AM. While this is a slightly less optimal viewing time, it will still be visible, and likely easier to watch, for anyone willing to stay up until midnight.

Image changed 11/14/22

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