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Popular Rocket Launch Viewing Area On Central Coast Closed Over COVID-19 Safety Concerns

(NASA photo)
Final preparations are underway for Saturday's scheduled launch of a climate change monitoring satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

COVID-19 safety concerns are going to make it a bit harder for some people to see what’s expected to be a spectacular rocket launch from the Central Coast this weekend.

An international satellite intended to improve the monitoring of climate change issues is being prepared for liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base. 

A SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket is set to lift the Sentinel-6 satellite into orbit at 9:17 Saturday morning.

One of the most popular viewing areas for civilians watching launches from the base is off of Highway 1, near the base’s main gate.  Because of concerns that large crowds will gather, the area commonly closed as the Hawk’s Nest will be closed for the launch.

However - weather permitting - the launch may be visible in much of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. 

It’s also possible there could be sonic booms from both the launch, and the landing of the booster rocket back at the base.

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. 
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