Team Vandenberg is scheduled to launch a National Reconnaissance Office mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex-4 on Wednesday, Feb. 2, with a launch window targeting 12:18 p.m.
The mission’s first stage will return to land on Vandenberg. Upon re-entry of the vehicle, spectators and local residents from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties can anticipate hearing multiple sonic booms as the vehicle breaks the sound barrier.
A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves from an aircraft or launch vehicle traveling faster than the speed of sound. Sonic booms generate a sound similar to an explosion or a clap of thunder and the degree experienced will depend on weather conditions and other factors.
In compliance with COVID-19 restrictions, the normal public viewing area on Azalea Lane off of Hwy 1 just a half mile south of Vandenberg Space Force Base’s main gate will not be open to the public.