Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing  (Read 11989 times)

Offline ChrisC

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SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« on: 01/09/2017 06:27 PM »
Up to now, we've had viewing threads for each Vandenberg launch, but since a lot of the info is the same each time, we're going to start a thread for viewing of VAFB launches in general.

To start, here is the viewing thread for the launch of Jason-3 in Jan 2016:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39176.0

And here's the viewing thread for the launch of CASSIOPE in Sept 2013: 
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32534.0

Finally, here's an EXCELLENT reference for VAFB launch viewing, similar to Ben Cooper's writeup for the eastern range launches, which I am constantly pointing people to:
http://www.spacearchive.info/vafbview.htm

As I get time, I'll copy important facts / references out of the posts below (and the earlier threads) and edit them into this first post.  But for now even just reading through the above links (especially the last one) should answer all the obvious questions.

EDIT:  I have also collected some links about the Long Beach berthing location, including some webcam links:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42052.msg1630947#msg1630947
« Last Edit: 01/21/2017 08:04 PM by ChrisC »
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Offline SeriousCallersOnly

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #1 on: 01/11/2017 08:45 PM »
I watched Jason 3 (as I recall) launch from Providence Landing Park.  It was a great spot and filled with fanatical SpaceX employees.  :)  Here's the address:

699 Mercury Avenue, Lompoc, CA 93436

and a link to google maps:

Mercury Ave, Lompoc, CA

Edit/Lar: fix long link

« Last Edit: 01/11/2017 09:52 PM by Lar »

Offline dglow

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #2 on: 01/11/2017 09:16 PM »
As has been stated before, a dream viewing location would be the Amtrak parking lot at the end of Ocean Ave. <sigh>

Can someone recall the exact spot where Ocean is closed on launch days... is it the Arguello intersection?

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #3 on: 01/11/2017 09:25 PM »

I watched Jason 3 (as I recall) launch from Providence Landing Park.  It was a great spot and filled with fanatical SpaceX employees.  :)  Here's the address:

699 Mercury Avenue, Lompoc, CA 93436

and a link to google maps:

Please shorten the Google link, as below:  Google can find it without the rest of the link, and the long link messes up the forum formatting.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/699+Mercury+Ave,+Lompoc,+CA+93436/

Offline Lar

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #4 on: 01/11/2017 09:57 PM »

I watched Jason 3 (as I recall) launch from Providence Landing Park.  It was a great spot and filled with fanatical SpaceX employees.  :)  Here's the address:

699 Mercury Avenue, Lompoc, CA 93436

and a link to google maps:

Please shorten the Google link, as below:  Google can find it without the rest of the link, and the long link messes up the forum formatting.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/699+Mercury+Ave,+Lompoc,+CA+93436/


Or, alternatively, leave the link long but use the URL tag, like this (change {} to [] )

{url=https://insanely.long.link.com/super/cool/but/pedantic/and/verbose/link/crazy.js?someParm=Lar}short form{/url}

which will appear like this
short form

PS: I shortened his link
« Last Edit: 01/11/2017 09:58 PM by Lar »
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Offline catdlr

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #5 on: 01/12/2017 03:28 AM »
As has been stated before, a dream viewing location would be the Amtrak parking lot at the end of Ocean Ave. <sigh>

Can someone recall the exact spot where Ocean is closed on launch days... is it the Arguello intersection?

That's a great location.  I watched the IRAS launch from the Delta IIpad by the airport in 1983.  Seems like the LV trajectory was almost overhead, quite loud and spectacular for an evening launch.  Oh.. those days.   
Tony De La Rosa

Offline nukie19

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #6 on: 01/13/2017 02:35 PM »
As has been stated before, a dream viewing location would be the Amtrak parking lot at the end of Ocean Ave. <sigh>

Can someone recall the exact spot where Ocean is closed on launch days... is it the Arguello intersection?

Just past the Arguello intersection.

Offline SeriousCallersOnly

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #7 on: 01/14/2017 02:22 PM »
I decided to try this spot:

https://goo.gl/maps/qceYVPTUbHU2

Will post a report later on how I like it.

Online Michael Baylor

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #8 on: 01/14/2017 07:00 PM »
The 30th Space Wing posted this image on Facebook. Which location is this? That looks like an amazing view!

« Last Edit: 01/14/2017 07:02 PM by Next Spaceflight »

Offline nukie19

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #9 on: 01/14/2017 08:19 PM »
Pretty sure that is on-base on the road down to Surf Beach (35th Street).

Offline catdlr

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #10 on: 01/14/2017 10:41 PM »
Pretty sure that is on-base on the road down to Surf Beach (35th Street).

That's west across the mouth of the Santa Ynez River river on the hills side near 35th and Taco.
Tony De La Rosa

Offline SeriousCallersOnly

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #11 on: 01/14/2017 11:20 PM »



That's west across the mouth of the Santa Ynez River river on the hills side near 35th and Taco.

Wait, so does that mean this location is accessible to the general public?

Offline dglow

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #12 on: 01/14/2017 11:23 PM »
Nope, it's on-base.   :(

Offline SeriousCallersOnly

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #13 on: 01/14/2017 11:30 PM »
I like this location for the views and definitely if there was fog it would be a good spot to watch from.  I think next time I will either try Santa Ynez Peak or go back to Providence Landing park.  Has anyone on here watched from Santa Ynez Peak?  Is it high enough to see the launch pad?   All in all it was a good experience.  With my 12x50 binoculars I could follow the launch all the way through first stage separation and see a few of the burns as the first stage decelerated before I lost it.  Could also see the first stage falling behind the second stage after separation.   Well worth the 8 hr R/T drive!


I decided to try this spot:

https://goo.gl/maps/qceYVPTUbHU2

Will post a report later on how I like it.

Offline catdlr

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #14 on: 02/02/2017 11:37 PM »
Here is a view of the launch viewed 4.1 miles from the pad on Renwick Ave., Lompoc, CA.

FALCON LAUNCH FOLLOW UP

Last month, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying several Iridium
Next communications satellites from Vandenberg AFB.

Veteran launch watcher Rick Baldridge posted an interesting video of
the launch online. To see it, go to:

 

Meanwhile, Craig N. provided the following observation of the launch:

"I viewed the launch on a beach outside the Rudder Room in Channel
Islands/Oxnard.  You can have a cold one while watching. I too saw the
orange flames from Goleta Point up until first stage burnout."
« Last Edit: 02/02/2017 11:43 PM by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

Offline SaturnVF1

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #15 on: 05/21/2017 10:05 AM »
So the Surf Beach station is always closed for SpaceX launches?

That would be such a great place. I tried to watch the Jan 2016 launch from there but got kicked out in the middle of the night. I did see the early morning Delta 4 launch the next month from there, with a bunch of Rocketdyne employees.

Are there any good spots further south near the eastern edge of the base?

Offline nukie19

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #16 on: 06/23/2017 02:49 PM »
So the Surf Beach station is always closed for SpaceX launches?

That would be such a great place. I tried to watch the Jan 2016 launch from there but got kicked out in the middle of the night. I did see the early morning Delta 4 launch the next month from there, with a bunch of Rocketdyne employees.

Are there any good spots further south near the eastern edge of the base?

Yes to Surf being closed.
No to good spots further south. 

Most of the best places for the public and already listed here.

Online gongora

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #17 on: 08/19/2017 05:29 PM »
This has some tips for Vandenberg viewing (and a restaurant recommendation for those in the area):
Viewing SpaceX launches at Vandenberg AFB

Online Michael Baylor

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #18 on: 08/21/2017 05:50 AM »
My golden rule for the Formosat-5 launch viewers.

Don't be that guy who brings a drone to try and get a view of the pad. The @WaywardDrone Twitter account was nearly created during the Iridium 2 launch.

Offline SeriousCallersOnly

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing
« Reply #19 on: 10/09/2017 12:07 PM »
My first night launch. :)

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