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Vandenberg AFB Launch Viewing

Vandenberg AFB Launch Viewing

Old Aug 8, 17, 2:27 pm
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Vandenberg AFB Launch Viewing

We will be in Carpinteria the week of August 20 and would like to view the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket on Aug 24. It's scheduled to launch at 11:50am from SLC-4E.

Does anyone have recommendations for a viewing location?

Amtrak's Surf Station looks to be near the closest drive to a good viewing location. It also looks like the train line gets very close to the launch complex. We are contemplating taking it.

There's a Surfliner train that arrives at 11:30am and a return at 2:51pm. Has anyone ever viewed a launch by train? How reliable is the train, especially on launch days? Is this a good way to avoid traffic going to the launch?
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Old Aug 17, 17, 9:52 pm
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harris grade road
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Old Aug 19, 17, 11:14 am
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Thank You
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Old Aug 26, 17, 7:39 pm
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For those searching
Harris Grade Road doesn't really work for SLC 3 and 4. It's too distant, especially when there is some marine layer fogging things in.

Ocean Ave. is blocked off at 13th, so you can't get to the Surf Amtrak station or the beach. I'm told that they substitute the Amtrak trains with buses during the launch window, but I didn't verify.

We watched the launch from Ocean Avenue, just east of 13th Street. There were plenty of cars parked on the shoulder with people sitting in chairs. It was easy to find a place to pull over and park.

The location is slightly under 4 miles from the pad, and the pad is obscured by the hills. You see the rocket over when it gets to about 200 feet. That's a couple of seconds before the sound hits you, and the sound is impressive.

We're glad that we went.
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Old Aug 27, 17, 1:42 pm
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Back in the mid 2000s I saw a Vandenburg launch all the way from central Arizona. Evening launch, deep purple twilight. Absolutely surreal.
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