Marty S. and I drove down to Vandenberg AFB this AM to see a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch. We had never seen a launch and it was on my bucket list. It was around 4:30AM and I didn’t get any pictures, but here’s a video taken from the actual rocket. We’ll do it again I’m sure and next time we’ll shoot for a daytime launch.
If you ever decide to do this, consider three places to view a Vandenberg launch on pads 3 or 4. And consider bringing along binoculars. Options include:
- On Ocean avenue near or on Renwick Ave. About as close as you can get to the pads, about 5 miles. Could be foggy. Park off Ocean or on Renwick.
- Providence Landing Park. About 5 miles further, but at 330′ elevation, might get you out of the fog, if it’s foggy. You don’t have to get there early. Look south.
- Harris Grade Road up in the hills, at 1000′ if it’s really foggy, but it is further away.
There’s some old info on internet sites. For instance, you probably can’t reach Surf Beach and Hawk’s Nest is sadly closed. Having said that, here’s a pretty useful map, including info on seeing other launch pads.
Note that pads 6 and 8 are quite a bit further from the viewing spots I mention than 3 or 4. If you have a better place to see 6 or 8, let me know. There’s a coast road but others mention that it’s closed for launches. I’ll keep this blog updated as I learn more.