United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket will carry a new satellite to orbit Wednesday in a launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The launch also marks a major milestone for the next-generation Vulcan rocket as Atlas V debuts the new GEM-63 solid rocket boosters from Northrop Grumman.
The satellite being launched is a highly classified NROL-101 spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office.
Liftoff is tentatively set for 5:54 p.m. EDT Wednesday from SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Modern rockets carrying payloads to space take off with an awesome display of propulsion power that can be seen from a wide distance. If you are close to the east coast or near to the Cape Canaveral launch platform, then you will have a prime position to watch the launch.
But these larger rockets can be seen after takeoff from distances up to more than 400 miles away. In good visibility, the launch can be seen from locations like Tampa or Miami.
Wondering when and where you may see the #AtlasV #NROL101 launch? This visibility map shows your best chances to see the rocket in the Southeastern U.S.! Launch is scheduled for tomorrow at 5:58 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral. pic.twitter.com/TlhAh07tic
To see the rocket in Tampa Bay, find the northeast sky and look in that direction. The rocket will launch at 5:54 p.m. but will be visible, with clear skies, about two minutes later. See the graphic in the Twitter link above.
The Atlas V should leave a great contrail, considering it will be during the magical afterglow time just after sunset. Look for a pastel rainbow trail and possibly even that incredible jellyfish effect sometimes seen by these launches.
This is why you get up for a sunrise rocket launch. The ice crystals are lit up in the exhaust. They call it the “jellyfish” effect. Amazing! #ULA #AtlasV #AEHF5 pic.twitter.com/vNzwQxvQBp
United Launch Alliance, Atlas V, Rocket, Reconnaissance satellite, SpaceX
World news – US – How to see the Atlas V rocket launch a new US spy satellite tonight from Florida