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NASA/SpaceX launch scheduled at Vandenberg AFB this weekend

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Posted at 5:26 PM, Nov 18, 2020

SpaceX is scheduled to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Saturday.

The rocket will carry a NASA earth observation satellite into orbit.

The launch is scheduled for 9:17 a.m. on November 21.

Vandenberg officials say people on the Central Coast can expect to hear several sonic booms when the rocket returns to Earth.

Live coverage of the launch will begin at 8:45 a.m. on NASA Television and the NASA live stream.

The usual public viewing area for launches, on Azalea Lane south of the base's main gate, will be closed to the public because of COVID-19 restrictions.

The satellite, named Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, will work with the Jason-3 satellite, which was launched in 2016, to measure sea level for more than 90% of the world's oceans. NASA says it will provide crucial information for operational oceanography, marine meteorology, and climate studies.

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Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich team members from the European Space Agency pose with the spacecraft during processing at Vandenberg Air Force Base. NASA’s Launch Services Program based at Kennedy Space Center is responsible for launch management. (Photo courtesy ESA/Bill Simpson)

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich was named after the former director of NASA's Earth Science Division, who NASA says was instrumental in advancing space-based ocean measurements.

A satellite exactly like the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, called Sentinel-6B, will join this mission when it's launched in 2025.