San Diegans may see SpaceX's next Southern California launch - so stay calm

Launch rescheduled to Feb. 22 at 6:17AM

UPDATE (Feb. 21, 6:10 a.m.): SpaceX officials say the Falcon 9 launch is pushed back to Feb. 22 at 6:17 a.m. Pacific time due to "strong upper level winds."


SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - If you catch a ball of fire soaring through Southern California's sky Wednesday, there's a good chance it's SpaceX's latest launch - so please remain calm.

SpaceX is scheduled to launch their Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 6:17 a.m. The rocket will deliver Spain's PAZ satellite, a radar observation satellite, to low-Earth orbit.

About 11 minutes after launch, Falcon 9 will deploy the PAZ satellite. SpaceX said it will not attempt to recover Falcon 9's first stage boosters after launch.

RELATED: Drivers crashed as SpaceX rocket launch startled Southern Californians

The launch takes place less than 30 minutes before sunrise and there's a possibility San Diegans will once again see something "especially interesting."

According to Space Archive, "weather permitting, the Falcon 9’s bright orange flame should be visible in western California at least as far away as San Luis Obispo and Santa Monica.

As the rocket leaves Earth’s shadow two minutes after launch, the website predicted, "that would make the launch especially interesting as the Falcon 9’s exhaust plume is illuminated by the Sun while suspended in a semi-dark sky. Such a display could be visible from San Francisco to Baja California."

A livestream of the launch can be viewed here:

Last December, SpaceX's launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base lit up Southern California skies and social media. Hundreds in San Diego captured the sight - and called local authorities - unaware of the planned launch.

RELATED: Did you see the SpaceX launch in San Diego?

Wednesday's launch will be the second this month after SpaceX launched their Falcon Heavy rocket on February 6 in Florida, the most powerful rocket in use today. Though, the launch garnered more headlines due to the payload on top.

SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk attached his own Tesla Roadster to the top of the rocket, complete with a dummy driver and David Bowie's 1969 "Space Oddity" playing on the roadster's sound system - though it's unlikely to be heard in space. 

RELATED: What happened to the Tesla that Elon Musk shot into space?

The Telsa is projected to continue soaring past its intended target: Mars.


UPDATE: SpaceX delayed their launch scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 18, until Wednesday, Feb. 21., for "additional time to perform final checkouts."

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