December 11, 2017

Catch a SpaceX Launch from the Space Coast this Weekend

Liftoff for BulgariaSat-1.

Credit: SpaceX

Ready for some Fourth of July fireworks? Elon Musk’s SpaceX has really been racking ‘em up recently, with two launches from either coast last weekend, one each from Vandenberg AFB in California and another from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center with BulgariaSat-1. It’s almost starting to seem routine now. And we’ve got another launch coming up this weekend for a perfect trifecta on Wednesday, July 5th, as a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket hoists Intelsat-35e into geosynchronous orbit. Part of Intelsat’s “Epic” constellation of satellites, Intelsat-35e will provide mobile and video communications across Africa, Europe, the Atlantic region and the Americas.

And of course, the webcast, including the launch (no Falcon stage one booster landing recovery for this one) will be featured live:

The 58 minute launch window runs from 23:37 to 00:35 Universal Time (UT)(7:37 PM to 8:35 PM EDT) Sunday night, though of course, this could always slide back pending systems checks, scheduled static fire tests etc, not to mention the ever fickle evening summer weather and lightning constraints. Note that the very end of this launch window occurs after local sunset… twilight launches are the best, and the space shot should be visible across central Florida if skies are clear.

SpaceX is set for a record year in 2017 when it comes to launches. They seem to be successfully landing boosters with regularity now. I wonder just what lessons they learned in those early crashes?

Anyways, we’ll be hosting the webcast here, tweeting about this (and every) launch leading up to liftoff as always (we’re @Astroguyz), and watching from Pass-a-Grille, Florida 100 miles to the west.

Here’s hoping for clear skies!

 

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