SpaceX will send dozens of small satellites into orbit this weekend in a launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base on California’s Central Coast.
The aerospace company is targeting a Saturday launch for its Transporter-9 mission, which will carry and deploy 90 payloads, including CubeSats, MicroSats and orbital transfer vehicles carrying an additional 23 spacecraft to be deployed at a later time, according to the SpaceX website.
The launch window opens at 10:49 a.m., with a backup opportunity on Sunday during the same time.
The first stage booster supporting the mission previously launched six Starlink missions, the Transporter-8 mission and several others, according to SpaceX.
Following stage separation, the Falcon 9 rocket will land on Landing Zone 4 (LZ-4) at Vandenberg Space Force Base.
Transporter-9 is SpaceX’s ninth dedicated smallsat rideshare mission.
On board this mission are 90 spacecraft, including CubeSats, MicroSats, and orbital transfer vehicles pic.twitter.com/IDkZ5gJ1YK
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 9, 2023
How to watch Vandenberg rocket launch
The SpaceX launch will likely be viewable from around the Central Coast, depending on weather conditions and whether Vandenberg’s infamous fog makes an appearance.
There are several viewing areas around the Lompoc area for those interested in watching the spectacle live.
Cars often line up along Ocean Avenue, also known as Highway 246, with hundreds of spectators sitting on top of their vehicles or on the side of the road waiting for the rocket to come shooting up over the hills.
Other popular viewing sites include spots along Firefighter, Harris Grade and Santa Lucia roads.