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No Foolin': After Multiple Delays, SpaceX Rocket Launches From Vandenberg SFB | Local News | Noozhawk

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A Falcon 9 rocket launches from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Monday evening to deliver 22 Starlink satellites into orbit. Credit: SpaceX photo

After Mother Nature spoiled several launch attempts in recent days, a Falcon 9 rocket finally lifted off Monday evening from Vandenberg Space Force Base in another twilight departure. 

The April Fool's Day liftoff occurred at 7:30 p.m. so that the SpaceX rocket could deliver 22 Starlink satellites into space.

The mission first aimed for liftoff on Thursday, but windy and rainy weather interfered with the launch plans through the weekend.

For their patience, viewers were rewarded with mostly clear skies providing a perfect backdrop for the rocket's ascent Monday.

Launches around sunset and sunrise deliver some magnificent sights in the sky — assuming the marine layer and clouds don't spoil the view. 

Launch images captured from around Southern California quickly filled social media sites, showing the rocket's rise delivering a distraction for baseball fans at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and at Petco Park in San Diego. Others posted images of their view of the launch from Arizona. A Falcon 9 rocket's contrail picks up some color from the setting sun after liftoff Monday evening from Vandenberg Space Force Base. Credit: Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo

Once again, the clear sky allowed those watching to see the first-stage booster and the two halves of the payload fairing falling away. 

About eight minutes after lifting off, the first-stage booster successfully landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship in the Pacific Ocean.

SpaceX recycles the first-stage booster, or lower portion of the rocket, and the payload fairing, or nosecone, segments for reuse on future missions. 

It was the 190th Falcon 9 mission using flight-proven fairings, SpaceX said.

Monday's flight marked the 15th for the booster segment, which has carried a wide assortment of other payloads, including spy satellites, NASA spacecraft and other Starlink missions.

Separation of the 22 Starlink satellites riding aboard the rocket took place a little more than an hour after liftoff, according to SpaceX.

SpaceX said the flight signaled the 150th dedicated mission to deliver Starlink satellites. The Falcon 9 rocket's engines ignite during Monday's launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base. Credit: SpaceX photo

In addition to Vandenberg, Starlink satellites have launched from Florida with more than 6,000 arriving in orbit in recent years to create a constellation to provide internet access across the globe.

The blastoff was the 11th Falcon 9 rocket launch from Vandenberg since Jan. 1. 

SpaceX reportedly hopes to conduct another launch of Starlink satellites from the base at the end of this week.

However, the departure date depends on the team completing its chores to ready the rocket for its mission and, of course, favorable weather since another storm is heading toward the Central Coast. Contrail remnants drift in the sky over Goleta after Monday evening's SpaceX launch of a Falcon 9 rocket. Credit: Ruth Lane photo

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