SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne. Photo by John Schreiber.

Just four days after sending a communications satellite into orbit from Florida, Hawthorne-based SpaceX will attempt another launch Monday, this time sending a rocket into the sky from Vandenberg Air Force Base and likely giving the Southland another dramatic aerial light show.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for liftoff at 10:32 a.m. from Vandenberg. The mission is dubbed Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express — carrying not one, not two, but 71 satellites on what is billed as a “ridesharing” mission.

Organized by Spaceflight Industries, the satellites aboard the rocket come from 34 organizations and will be released into a “sun-synchronous low Earth orbit.”

“It includes 15 microsats and 49 cubesats from both commercial and government entities, of which more than 25 are from international organizations from 17 countries, including the United States, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Finland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, UK, Germany, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Poland, Canada, Brazil and India,” according to Spaceflight Industries.

The mission is billed as the “largest dedicated rideshare mission on a U.S. launch vehicle.”

Previous SpaceX launches from Vandenberg have created impressive light shows over the Southland and the entire southwestern United States.

On Thursday, SpaceX launched a Qatari communications satellite into orbit from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Monday’s mission will be SpaceX’s 19th launch of the year.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.