Fri. Apr 19th, 2024
alert-–-spectacular-spacex-launch-illuminates-the-california-evening-sky-sending-22-starlink-satellites-into-spaceAlert – Spectacular SpaceX launch illuminates the California evening sky sending 22 Starlink satellites into space

The skies of Southern California were aglow Monday evening as a SpaceX rocket streaked across on its way into space. 

The Falcon 9 launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Santa Barbara County, 160 miles northwest of Los Angeles, around 7:30pm leaving a bright plume of smoke in its wake.

The visuals were perhaps even more stunning that usual as the sun had only set 15 minutes earlier, but light from our closest star still hit the plume illuminating it.

It ensured the long-trailing cloud was visible across the region including in neighboring Arizona.

Launches either just before sunset or just prior to sunrise usually provide the best views as the rocket reflects the sun’s rays with a dark sky background.

An evening launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 22 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit is seen blasting off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Monday night

An evening launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 22 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit is seen blasting off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Monday night

People stand on a pier beneath the contrail from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a payload of 22 Starlink internet satellites into space

People stand on a pier beneath the contrail from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a payload of 22 Starlink internet satellites into space

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket flies above the Pacific Ocean

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket flies above the Pacific Ocean 

The launch was visible across much of Southern California and above San Clemente Pier

The launch was visible across much of Southern California and above San Clemente Pier

SpaceX had been due to launch the rocket on Saturday but a weekend storm meant the departure was delayed

SpaceX had been due to launch the rocket on Saturday but a weekend storm meant the departure was delayed 

SpaceX had been due to launch the rocket on Saturday but a weekend storm meant the departure was delayed.

This time the rocket was carrying a payload of 22 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit.

The launch was the 11th from Vandenberg Space Force Base. It was also the 32nd Falcon 9 launch of 2024, and the 21st used to help build out the ‘Starlink megaconstellation.’

After the satellites were deployed, the booster landed on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ droneship in the Pacific Ocean.

Starlink is ‘the world’s first and largest satellite constellation using a low Earth orbit to deliver broadband internet capable of supporting streaming, online gaming, video calls and more,’ according to the service’s website.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket can be seen launching out of of Vandenberg Space Force Base in Santa Barbara County, California

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket can be seen launching out of of Vandenberg Space Force Base in Santa Barbara County, California

People walk on a pier beneath the contrail from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in San Clemente

People walk on a pier beneath the contrail from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in San Clemente

The launch was the 11th from Vandenberg Space Force Base

The launch was the 11th from Vandenberg Space Force Base 

The rocket was carrying 22 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit and blasted off at 7:30pm

The rocket was carrying 22 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit and blasted off at 7:30pm 

It was also the 32nd Falcon 9 launch of 2024, and the 21st used to help build out the 'Starlink megaconstellation'

It was also the 32nd Falcon 9 launch of 2024, and the 21st used to help build out the ‘Starlink megaconstellation’ 

Launches either just before sunset or just prior to sunrise usually provide the best views as the rocket reflects the sun's rays with a darker sky background

Launches either just before sunset or just prior to sunrise usually provide the best views as the rocket reflects the sun’s rays with a darker sky background

The rocket can be seen lifting off with the mountains in the distance

The rocket can be seen lifting off with the mountains in the distance

The booster rocket can be seen making the return back to Earth and is the object in the middle of this photo

The booster rocket can be seen making the return back to Earth and is the object in the middle of this photo

The ‘constellation’ of satellites consists of thousands of satellites that orbit Earth at an altitude of about 340 miles.

The satellites then connect to antennas that users set up at their home to provide internet access.

When 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.