NEVADA – On Tuesday night, residents of Reno may have the opportunity to witness an awe-inspiring event as SpaceX prepares to launch its Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The launch window is scheduled between 7:29 p.m. Tuesday and 1:43 a.m. Wednesday, with the exact timing subject to change.
The Falcon 9 rocket will be carrying a payload of Starlink V2 mini internet satellites, which will join the existing constellation of satellites orbiting the Earth, providing internet connectivity to remote areas. With over 1.5 million subscribers already benefiting from the Starlink network, this launch marks another step towards expanding global internet access.
The sight of the Starlink satellites in the night sky has captivated skywatchers around the world, and Renoites had their fair share of excitement in 2021. These satellites, traveling in long chains of up to 60, can be as bright as airplanes, creating a stunning display against the backdrop of the cosmos.
Dr. John Barentine, the director of conservation of the International Dark-Sky Association, highlights the significance of Starlink and similar satellite mega-constellations. He explains that by the end of this decade, the number of functional satellites in orbit could exceed 100,000, revolutionizing our communication infrastructure.
While the visibility of the rocket’s glow depends on various factors, including the timing of the launch and local weather conditions, the National Weather Service predicts mostly clear skies for Tuesday night in Reno and northwestern Nevada.
For those interested in catching a glimpse of the rocket’s spectacle, keep an eye on the southern sky immediately after the launch. If the launch occurs early in the window, it may coincide with daylight hours. However, if it takes place after sunset and the skies remain clear, the rocket’s glow will be visible for a brief period of one to two minutes.
Stay updated on the final launch time by visiting earthsky.org/spaceflight/spacex-starlink-launches-july-2023/.
SpaceX will also livestream the launch on youtube.com/spacex, allowing viewers to witness the remarkable event from the comfort of their homes.
Get ready, Reno, for an extraordinary celestial display as SpaceX lights up the night with its Starlink launch!
Credits: Reno Gazette
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