Rocket Launch Scheduled for Saturday Morning

On Saturday morning at 9:17am, you may hear a sonic boom, as Vandenberg Air Force Base is scheduled to launch Falcon 9 rocket.

Following liftoff, the Falcon 9 will rise vertically for several seconds before it gradually pitches over and heads towards the south-southwest as it parallels the coast. If the launch goes as planned, the rocket will place NASA’s Sentinel 6– a sea level-measuring satellite– into orbit.

If the sky is clear, the early portion of the launch could be visible to the unaided eye for more than 100 miles, but down in Newport Beach, you will need to know exactly where to look to see it– Look North!

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 off-chance potential for a Sonic Boom, which is a rare one for quiet Newport Beach.

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: 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).


To be alerted for Rocket Launches in the future, just sign up here:



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