July 16, 2024

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Watch Firefly Aerospace’s Noise of Summer Rocket Launch – NBC Los Angeles

Watch Firefly Aerospace’s Noise of Summer Rocket Launch – NBC Los Angeles

Update (8:31 p.m.): The planned launch on Tuesday has been postponed. Original story appears below.

Southern Californians and other skywatchers in the western United States may be able to see Firefly Aerospace’s Alpha rocket Tuesday night when it lifts off the coast of Santa Barbara County.

The launch window, part of the “Summer Noise” mission that was originally scheduled to launch Monday, will open at 9:03 p.m. Pacific time at Vandenberg Space Station about 160 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The setting sun will illuminate the rocket’s exhaust plume against a dark sky, potentially providing a view of a large swath of the western United States as the rocket lifts off. rising over the pacific ocean.

This map shows the visibility range for the Noise of Summer launch of the Firefly Alpha rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base.

Rockets launched from the base and their exhaust plumes are sometimes Visible from hundreds of miles away When rockets fly along the coast, if the sky is clear. Launches after sunset and before sunrise usually provide the best views as the rocket reflects the sun’s rays against the dark sky.

The sun is scheduled to set at 8:08 p.m. Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Click here For live coverage with Firefly and NASASpaceflight.com.

The launch will be the Alpha rocket’s fifth mission and comes six months after its last flight. Monday’s scheduled launch was canceled due to a ground launch equipment problem.

The Earth science mission, Summer Noise, will launch eight small, box-shaped satellites from the 95-foot-tall Alpha rocket, which made its first test flight in September 2021. The cubesats were selected as part of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative, which was created to help provide a path to space for satellites developed at U.S. colleges, universities and nonprofits.

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The two satellites were built to operate as a pair and improve relative navigation between spacecraft in orbit. The goal is to address the problem of increasing satellite congestion in orbit.

Click here To read more about the eight satellites.