Falcon-9 PAZ Launch from Vandenberg AFB will be visually spectacular

From: JUDY RICK BALDRIDGE via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2018 08:47:47 -0800 (PST)
The Falcon-9 PAZ satellite launch from Vandenberg AFB scheduled for this Saturday morning, Feb. 17th at 6:14AM PST will be visually SPECTACULAR – almost exactly like the launch on Dec 22nd that lit up the sky in Southern California!  The lighting conditions are virtually identical, except the December launch was in evening twilight – this one will be in morning twilight.

See https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/12/28/falcon-9-launch-lights-up-southern-california-sky/


The rocket will get into sunlight 2m20sec after launch – almost exactly at staging. The Sun is -6.3° from VAFB – near Civil Twilight. (The Sun was -5.9° for the Dec 22nd launch at 5:27pm PST.)


Trajectory plots for various California locations can be seen at: 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/xb70man/albums/72157692592142634


Even from as far north as San Jose, this launch will be worth the effort to view.  The plume can be quite good even from 200 miles away!  (See the CASTLE ROCK plot for locations around the South Bay.)  An example of what it will look like from San Jose is at:

https://youtu.be/IX_nLtXXc3E?t=3m10s       which was a Delta II rocket carrying the NASA SMAP satellite.


Clear skies!


Rick Baldridge

37.262, -121.977
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Received on Tue Feb 13 2018 - 10:50:28 UTC

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