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SpaceX Set For Morning Launch From the California Coast. Here's How to Watch

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to carry Starlink satellites into the low-Earth orbit Thursday morning in a launch from the California coast.

The rocket is scheduled to launch at 7:43 a.m. California time from Vandenberg Space Force Base, located northwest of Santa Barbara. Fifty-one Starlink satellites onboard will be deployed into orbit.

After stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to Earth and land on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship that is stationed in the Pacific Ocean.

“All systems are looking good and weather is 60% favorable for liftoff,” SpaceX said in a tweet Wednesday night.

A backup launch window will open at 7:09 a.m. Friday.

How to watch the SpaceX launch

A live webcast of the mission will begin about five minutes prior to the rocket’s scheduled 7:43 a.m. liftoff using this link.

What are Starlink satellites?

The Starlink network is designed to deliver high-speed internet anywhere around the globe.

If light conditions are right, the satellites appear in a train as they parade across the night sky.

The satellites are sometimes visible in the first few minutes after sundown and before sunrise when the sun is below the horizon, but the satellites are high enough to reflect direct sunlight.

Use the FindStarlink tracker to find the best upcoming viewing times.

What is Falcon 9?

Falcon 9 is the world’s first orbital class rocket that is capable of reflight.

It is a two-stage rocket that was designed and manufactured by SpaceX. It can both humans and cargo into Earth’s orbit and can even travel to the International Space Station.

Falcon 9 was first launched in 2012.

What is Vandenberg Space Force Base?

The Vandenberg Space Force Base is military base located along the central coast of the Pacific Ocean in California.

Its location is ideal because it allows for safe testing of land based strategic deterrent assets and to safely place satellites into polar orbit.

It is the only military base in the country that launches both unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit.

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Source: NBC Los Angeles

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