Rocket launch from Vandenberg Base seen in So Cal

The contrail of a rocket launch from Vandenberg AFB at dusk this evening (September 14, 2023). The trail was originally straight but soon graced our sky with twists and turns caused by atmospheric turbulence. Photo courtesy of Joanne McIntyre in north Fallbrook, CA.

SAN DIEGO – The launch of a rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Santa Barbara County could be seen from Southern California, media reports said today.
Texas-based company Firefly Aerospace launched FLTA003, the third flight of its Alpha launch vehicle, at 7:27 p.m. Thursday, as part of a mission for the U.S. Space Force, according to OnScene TV.
The mission, known as VICTUS NOX, which translates to “conquer the night” in Latin, was a demonstration of the U.S. ability to quickly place a satellite in orbit in response to a national security threat, the video news service said. Firefly was awarded the mission in October 2022 under the Orbital Services Program 4 contract.
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