SpaceX launch by Brittany Basteo

Rocket Launch, Tonight (technically, early tomorrow morning)

Vandenberg Airforce base will be set to test launch an intercontinental ballistic missile on Thursday, the second ICBM launch in two weeks.

Air Force Global Strike Command will launch the unarmed Minuteman III ICBM from Vandenberg on Thursday between 12:39 a.m. and 6:39 a.m.

The launch will test the accuracy of the weapon system as well as the readiness of Air Force Global Strike Command.

A similar test launch took place last Wednesday at around 2:42 a.m. (this launch window was 1:16am to 7:16am)

Our sun is set to rise on Saturday at 5:56am, so depending on when the actual launch time is, this will give us the potential of seeing the “SpaceX Glow” which everyone was so excited about last year!

Depending on your location and the ambient noise around you, you may hear a distant, muffled rumble or perhaps a sonic boom from the launch some time between 4 and 12 minutes after launchtime.

If you want a close-up view of the launch, you are welcome to congregate west of Lompoc in the vicinity of highway 246 (west Ocean Avenue) and Union Sugar Road.

If you plan to obtain countdown status via an Internet feed, be advised that the feed may lag far behind the actual countdown.  During a launch last year, Pete Heins, N6ZE, discovered the countdown feed was delayed by a whopping 75 seconds, so being attentive to the sky is a must, if you plan to watch it outdoors.

Check ClearDarkSky here: see if the cloud cover will be a problem, as it has been in the past (on that chart, blue is clear, white is cloudy).




About Mike Glenn

Mike is the founder and publisher of Save Newport and Chair of Government Relations for the Elks Lodge. He writes, shoots photos, and edits, but much of the time, he's just "the IT guy". He can be reached at: Google+, Facebook, or via email, at