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SpaceX to launch internet satellites Friday afternoon from Vandenberg ­— and we may be able to see it from SoCal

HAWTHORNE — Hawthorne-based SpaceX will attempt to launch another batch of satellites into low orbit Friday as part of its expanding Starlink broadband internet array, and the mission could be visible from parts of Southern California.

The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base along the central coast is scheduled for 3:07 p.m.

Some previous rocket launches from Vandenberg have created spectacular aerial light shows across the West Coast, although daytime launches tend to be less visible.

The rocket launching Friday will be carrying 53 more Starlink satellites, adding to an array that already includes thousands of satellites in a low orbit around the planet. Starlink is envisioned as a worldwide satellite-based broadband service, providing internet links in areas that previously had connectivity issues.

Starlink service is already available in 32 countries.

According to the Hawthorne aerospace company, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket being used in Friday’s launch has already flown four previous missions for SpaceX, which has pioneered efforts to recover rockets for re-use, dramatically cutting the costs of future flights.

The company will again attempt to recover the rocket’s first stage Friday by landing it on the whimsically named barge “Of Course I Still Love You” floating in the Pacific Ocean.

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