US Air Force says California residents may hear sonic booms this weekend

Brittany A. Roston - Oct 4, 2018, 7:39pm CDT
US Air Force says California residents may hear sonic booms this weekend

People living and otherwise located in central California this weekend may be in for brief moments of noisiness, but the United States Air Force says not to panic. Sonic booms may be heard in the region resulting from a planned space test that’ll involve launching the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The event is set to take place on Saturday, October 6.

According to Vandenberg Air Force Base’s public affairs announcement, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will be launching the SAOCOM 1A satellite from the Space Launch Complex-4E this upcoming Saturday, October 6. The launch is currently scheduled to take place at 7:21PM local time.

The USAF says SpaceX will be attempting to land the Falcon 9’s first stage at Landing Zone 4 — formerly known as SLC-4W, which is at the Vandenberg Air Force Base. This’ll mark the first time the private space company has attempted to make a landing at this AFB.

Residents located near the Vandenberg AFB may get a chance to see the first stage as it returns; officials say the show could include multiple engine burns. Anyone in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties may hear sonic booms resulting from the return. This is the type of shockwave commonly associated with certain aircraft.

The AFB explains that sonic booms will be influenced by various factors, including weather conditions. Assuming the noise reaches residents, it’ll likely sound like thunder or possibly an explosion.

SOURCE: Vandenberg Air Force Base

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