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Vandenberg Launch
updated: Jan 20, 2013, 12:02 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

I read that on February 11 Vandenberg will be launching a satellite ... A giant one. Would love to be there. How close is it possible to get to the launch site? Any advice?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 365540 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 12:13 PM

I would say no. you can look to the sky however.

 

 COMMENT 365544 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 12:24 PM

You can certainly get close on Hiway 1, don't know if Surf Beach is accessable but might be a good site.

 

 COMMENT 365545 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 12:28 PM

Ask someone at VAFB. If you want to go rogue, you could get a rubber raft and a ghillie suit and probably get to where you could sample the exhaust gas.

 

 COMMENT 365555 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 12:48 PM

You can get pretty close from anyplace in the valley. Be advised that if it's a daytime launch you might be looking at the sun, which as you know, hurts.

Here's a link to other info about viewing. If it's clear and if it's a twilight launch, anywhere from here to Phoenix will be good.

http://www.spacearchive.info/vafbview.htm

 

 COMMENT 365558 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 12:52 PM

Long time Lompocian here! If you know which launchpad it's from you can strategize your viewing location. I think one of the better spots to view it (if you don't have base access) is to go to the lookout on Harris Grade. It gets crowded up there quickly sometimes. There's also another hill that requires a decent hike up a steep road. I can't recall the exact street, but it's near the landfill on the southwest tip of the city near where Bodger seeds used to be.

If you can get base access there are viewing spots there. Enjoy!

 

 BECKY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 01:28 PM

There's a launch party, and the public is invited. I'd guess that would be the best view possible.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/30thSpaceWing
"Mark your calendars for Monday, Feb. 11th! This is one launch you won't want to miss! We are hosting a live rock band and public viewing from Providence Landing in Vandenberg Village. That's RIGHT! You might want to call in sick that day ... "LAUNCH PARTY!!"
With its Feb. 11 launch date approaching, National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA Landsat, will be attached to its payload adapter today at 30th Space Wing (Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.) The adapter serves as the satellite's interface with the United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle. Encapsulation of the spacecraft into the payload fairing is scheduled for next week on Jan. 23."

 

 COMMENT 365579 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 01:29 PM

If you don't mind getting arrested, you can get real close. :)

VAFB isn't obscured on Google Maps. You can get a look at where the launch pads and public roads are and make a scouting trip to find a good vantage point but, as OG said, you need to know which pad is being used to find the right spot.

 

 JOHN WILEY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 01:45 PM

NASA has details about the launch here. I see that the new sensors will improve their ability to image aerosols, so hopefully that means better visibility info on fog, haze and smoke. Once the launch is closer, there will probably be details about this particular Atlas V vehicle on the ULA site too.

 

 COMMENT 365586 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 01:50 PM

The launch is scheduled to be between 10:00 and 10:45 AM. It is to be launched from Pad SLC-3E (wherever that is.) It is rewarding to get close enough that the audio is as impressive is the visual.

 

 COMMENT 365617P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 03:57 PM

I like to take my 85 year old mom to a secret place for giant rocket viewing - north of El Capitan and still on the coast but on a private hillside so she can sit in her very own 1960's webbed lawn chair and wait for the " big one." The last big launch was in Jan. 2011 when she almost lost it watching a Delta IV Heavy go up!

 

 COMMENT 365650 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 05:29 PM

I second going to Surf Beach and being right under the flight path.

 

 COMMENT 365651 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 05:33 PM

I believe SLC-3E is at the intersection of Bear Creek Road and Napa Rd, Southeast of Ocean Beach Park. goo.gl/maps/AEZ79

 

 COMMENT 365658 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-20 06:12 PM

Google the launch and find the live video feed. We watch the big screen until it is visible on the horizon and then continue to listen to mission audio. Not bad for Mesa rocket viewing.

 

 COMMENT 365706 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-21 07:47 AM

You'll get nowhere near Surf beach for a SLC3 launch. I suggest Ken Adam park right near the Allan Hancock Campus

 

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