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Central Coast rocket launches – what’s next?

It’s no secret that Lompoc and the Central Coast of California has some of the most spectacular viewing areas for rocket launches.

The last one on October 7th was a particularly awe-inspiring event – SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the SAOCOM 1A satellite right here from Vandenberg Air Force Base. SpaceX then landed the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket at Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base – SpaceX’s first ever land attempt at Vandenberg AFB, and a successful one at that.

Viewers drove and flew in from everywhere to view the launch up close, and it was quite the event to witness.
Check it out here:

Here’s an awesome timelapse video (Youtube, Jesse Watson):

So… because these events are such a cool sight to see (and honestly, many people don’t realize they’re happening until they hear the thunder-like sound of the rocket launching), we did a bit of research and pulled the latest information for upcoming launches at Vandenberg AFB.

If you want to plan a rocket launch viewing for you/your friends/your family, here’s what’s left for 2018:

Date: Dec 3, 2018
Launch Time/Window: 10:34 AM PST
Vehicle: Falcon 9
Pad/Silo: SLC-4E
Details: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch with Spaceflight’s SSO-A rideshare mission, a stack of satellites heading into sun-synchronous polar orbit.

Date: Dec 7, 2018
Launch Time/Window: 8:19 PM PST
Vehicle: Delta IV Heavy
Pad/Silo: SLC-6
Details: A United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket will launch a classified spy satellite cargo for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. The largest of the Delta 4 family, the Heavy version features 3 Common Booster Cores mounted together to form a triple-body rocket.

Date: Dec 30, 2018
Launch Time/Window: 8:38 AM PST
Vehicle: Falcon 9
Pad/Silo: SLC-4E
Details: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch 10 satellites for the Iridium next mobile communications fleet.

Source:  https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/

In many cases, the Lompoc Airport (where Skydive Santa Barbara is located) holds public viewing for rocket launches, so be sure to check the local news for updates closer to the next launch!

-The Skydive Santa Barbara team

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