SpaceX Rocket Launch From the California Coast Rescheduled for Tuesday

Another batch of Starlink satellites will be carried into orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base near Santa Barbara.

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What to Know

  • A SpaceX rocket is set for launch Tuesday evening from Vandenberg Space Force Base northwest of Santa Barbara.
  • The launch window opens at 4:48 p.m. California time
  • A live webcast of the launch will be available.

About four dozen internet satellites will be carried into low-Earth orbit Tuesday by a SpaceX rocket launched from the California coast after the mission was delayed Monday.

The Falcon 9 rocket is was scheduled to lift of Monday evening from Vandenberg Space Force Base northwest of Santa Barbara, but more time was required for pre-launch checkouts, SpaceX said in a tweet. SpaceX will attempt to land the rocket's first-stage booster on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship stationed in the Pacific Ocean.

Here's what to know and how to watch.

When is the next SpaceX rocket launch?

The launch window for SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket opened Monday at 4:56 p.m. California time, but was delayed. SpaceX will now attempt to use a backup launch window that opens Tuesday at 4:48 p.m. California time.

The Vandenberg SFB launch comes a day before the scheduled launch of SpaceX's Crew-5 Mission to the International Space Station. That launch is set for 12 p.m. ET at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Early Saturday morning, Firefly Aerospace's Alpha rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base, arced over the Pacific and deployed several small satellites into orbit.

How can I watch the SpaceX rocket launch?

A live webcast of the mission will begin about five minutes prior to the rockets liftoff using this link or by watching the YouTube video above.

Live coverage will begin about five minutes before the launch window opens.

The first stage booster will separate, then return to Earth with a landing on a droneship in the Pacific Ocean for re-use in future missions.

The contrail from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched at Vandenberg Air Force Base lights up the early evening sky on December 22, 2017, as viewed from Solvang, California. The spectacular event, seen by millions of people throughout parts of Arizona and Central and Southern California, was the result of setting sun light hitting the contrail left behind as ten communication satellites were placed into orbit by the private space company. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

Will the rocket be visible in Southern California?

Sunset isn't until after 6:30 p.m. Monday in Los Angeles, so a spectacular view won't be likely. Night launches and those closure to sunset offer better viewing conditions.

The rocket will climb for several seconds then gradually turn south-southeast and climb into orbit.

In December 2017, a launch after sunset captivated Southern Californians who saw this amazing sight during stage separation.

Video from NBCLA's TowerCam in Universal City, about 150 miles from the Space Force Base, captured a bright orange object on the horizon as a SpaceX rocket steadily climbed into the darkness after an Aug. 31 launch.

What are Starlink satellites?

SpaceX has a Starlink constellation of satellites orbiting Earth about 340 miles up. The satellites have been shuttled into space by SpaceX rockets.

The Starlink network is designed to deliver high-speed internet anywhere around the globe. SpaceX said in March that there are about 250,000 total Starlink subscribers, which includes both consumers and enterprise customers.

Can I see the Starlink satellites in orbit?

Yes, they sometimes put on a celestial show. If light conditions are right, the satellites appear in a train as they parade across the night sky.

The satellites are sometimes visible in the first few minutes after sundown and before sunrise when the sun is below the horizon, but the satellites are high enough to reflect direct sunlight.

Use the FindStarlink tracker to find the best upcoming viewing times.

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