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Rocket launch set for Central Coast Friday morning

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifting off from Vandenberg Space Force Base February 2.

SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket carrying payload of 50 small communication satellites.

SpaceX is planning to launch its latest batch of communications satellites from the Central Coast Friday morning.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is set to lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Based at 9:12 a.m. It’s carrying a payload of 50 small Starlink satellites.

Plans call for the reusable booster to land on a barge off the coastline. If the weather remains clear, the launch should be visible along much of the Central and South Coasts.

It’s part of an effort by SpaceX to create a network of more than 40,000 of the small Starlink satellites, which would provide internet access to underserved parts of the world.

NASA has expressed concern about the potential for collisions involving the satellites, which are in low earth orbits.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.