Op-Ed: Unreliable SpaceX Launch Schedule is Problematic

By Victoria McClain

The SpaceX launch program may be good for parts of the community but their unreliable schedule for launches is becoming problematic.

I have lived in Lompoc for 35+ years. My previous 5 dogs had no problem with the missiles. Two of them actually were our early warning missile launch dogs. They only howled for missile launches and they would start howling minutes before a launch giving us time to get outside to watch them.

My current pair of Lab-Catahoula mixed breed dogs hate the missile launches. They cower and hide, shake and roll their eyes. If there is the accompanying sonic boom, they get in the closet and won’t come out for hours.

Despite rearranging my schedule to be home with them, it has gotten to the point where I have to medicate them. I premedicate them for the launch and then they cancel for weather or they cancel because there is a launch at Cape Canaveral. (If that is already a known factor, why to they reschedule to that day and then cancel). Last month I medicated my dogs 4 days in a row due to their scheduling ineptitude. This month I’m on day 2 of medicating my dogs. The launch is rescheduled for tomorrow…that will be day three.

They need to get their act together. It is unfair to the citizens of this community to have to rearrange and reschedule their lives because they don’t have the forethought to think things through before they cancel launches the morning of a scheduled launch.

The amount of money they get paid would lead you to think they could look at a weather forecast and cancel appropriately the day before. You would think that the West coast and East coast branches of SoaceX could have each other’s schedule in order to prevent rescheduling on the same day. At the very least, SpaceX could have an up to date website that the community could reference instead of having to dig through websites and newscasts to track down the semi latest news on launches. Just saying…

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Written by Vic60

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  1. CoastWatch: Great advice and information. Animals often sense their owner’s anxiety and fear. Of course some folks prefer to buy dog that match their own personalities, and that can include a certain amount of “skitishness” that the owner has from simple day-to-day living. I’ve trained many dogs over the years and know what I’m talking about….start off with a good solid dog with an even temperament and not one that gets “wigged out” simply when the wind blows or leaves rustle.

  2. I’ve never been anxious about launches until this past year and that comes from my dogs reaction. I worked in a high stress career for 40 years and have always managed to remain calm despite the chaos around me. I honestly don’t think MY anxiety is the problem. I have tried the sedatives and food treats. I also get that these launches cost millions to billions of dollars. But I have seen them reschedule to the next day then cancelling again because of a launch in Florida. I also monitor the weather and they have rescheduled and cancelled with rain and clods in the fire adt. I’m just asking that they be more mindful.

  3. Hi Victoria, I appreciate how difficult it is on your dogs and you. However, to state that they “don’t have the foresight to think things through” is remiss. These are hundreds of millions-billion$ launches and there is far more at play than just weather. It is the way it is.
    I live in SYV as well, and the constant controlled burns severely impacts my health and flares my asthma to unbearable. However, it’s not going to change. The only change will come with me moving elsewhere that doesn’t send horrible amounts of smoke pollution into the air for days on end. It is the way it is.

  4. Yes, my dog lives in terror of this and I’m in SB, I can only imagine how horrified he would be if we lived as close as you do! The increase in launches is one of the reasons why I want to move away from the area, I hate how it impacts my dog and honestly, all of the house rattling like earthquakes is stressful for me too.

  5. At first I assumed this was posted on April 1st… nope looks like the 31st…
    Your dogs acting as an early warning launch detector minutes before launch is a truly impressive feat! It is rare for any rocket to run its engines for more than 10 seconds before liftoff… so are these dogs ears so sensitive they can detect liquid oxygen/hydrogen/kerosene being flowed into a rocket from miles away? If so, have you considered employing these wonder-dogs to solve some of the world’s great mysteries?
    It costs around $150,000-$250,000 per day a rocket launch is delayed… specifically it costs about $280,000 for a Falcon 9 if the rocket is fueled and the launch is scrubbed.
    “Scheduling ineptitude”?? “They need to get their act together.”??
    By definition ROCKET SCIENTISTS have their “ACT TOGETHER.”
    When the rocket is launched and breaks the sound barrier, the sound waves don’t reach the local area, (see also: cone physics), with the SpaceX Falcon 9 you & your dogs will hear a sonic boom if the first stage returns to land at Vandenberg, but if it lands out in the Pacific Ocean, you will not, nor will your dogs hear the boom. (wheres the ka-boom, there was supposed to be an earth-shattering ka-boom)
    Maybe count your blessings that this is what bothers you and your dogs? Though I suspect there are bigger issues for y’all.

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