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Of Rockets, Sand and Oceans: A Trip to Vandenberg

21 Nov 2020, 05:18 UTC
Of Rockets, Sand and Oceans: A Trip to Vandenberg
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The top of a Falcon 9 rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Credit: Kenneth Brown)

by Douglas MessierManaging Editor

Greetings from Lompoc.

Ken Brown and I drove over from Mojave today for the Falcon 9 launch of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite on Saturday morning. Launch is scheduled for 9:17 a.m. PST. As always, your local time may vary. You can catch all the action on NASA TV.

The European environmental satellite, which NASA and NOAA are supporting, will study the oceans. That’s something we saw a good bit of today.

Surf Beach (Credit: Douglas Messier)

We got to the coast in early afternoon and went out to Surf Beach. There’s a small Amtrak train station overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Cross the tracks and there are sand dunes and a path leading down to a long stretch of undeveloped beach.

A warning sign at Surf Beach (Credit: Douglas Messier)

I sat on one of the dunes and ate the lunch I had packed. Somehow, no matter how hard I tried, the sand got everywhere. In the food bags and onto my jacket. Needless to say, lunch was a bit extra crunch.

Looking north on Surf Beach. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

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