On Wednesday morning at 7:17am, you may hear a sonic boom, as Vandenberg Air Force Base is scheduled to launch three RADARSAT earth imaging satellites for Canada from the SLC-4E silo.
If the sky is clear, the early portion of the launch could be visible to the unaided eye for more than 100 miles. This launch was originally scheduled for June 11, but was delayed.
The sun rises long before this launch, so we won’t get the “SpaceX-glow” effect like some previous launches, but the we also have the potential for a Sonic Boom (and possibly a few of them), which is a rare one for us!
30th Space Wing vice commander Col. Bob Reeves is commanding the launch. “Team V continues its dedication to assured access to space for the nation,” he said. “Partnership is vital to mission success, and we are proud to
share the load of this mission with SpaceX.”
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: http://www.cleardarksky.com/c/IvRgPkCAkey.html to 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).