Team Vandenberg is set to launch a National Reconnaissance Office mission Sunday aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base.
The launch is scheduled for 6:13 a.m.
It’s the second delay for the launch, which was originally scheduled for Friday. Then it was postponed to this morning, then delayed again to Sunday.
“NROL-85 is the first NRO mission to reuse a SpaceX rocket booster. NROL-87, launched only two months earlier, was the first NRO launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket intended to be reused for a future mission,” according to a news release from Vandenberg.
NROL-85 is the second Falcon 9 Launch procured through the National Security Space Launch contract that will launch from the Western Range. The mission’s first stage will return to land on Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Space Force Base.
As the vehicle re-enters, spectators and local residents of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties can expect to hear multiple sonic booms when the vehicle breaks the sound barrier.
“A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves from an aircraft or launch vehicle traveling faster than the speed of sound,” Vandenberg explained in its news release. “Sonic booms generate a sound similar to an explosion or a clap of thunder and the degree experienced will depend on weather conditions and other factors.”
You can watch the launch live at spacex.com or watch a video of it there later. The live webcast will start 15 minutes before the launch.