SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will blast off from Florida early Sunday night and the launch trajectory is in the direction of Puerto Rico, so it’s expected to be visible from the entire island. The rocket will carry 22 Starlink satellites into space as part of a constellation of these satellites to provide satellite internet.
The launch is tentatively scheduled for 11:58 p.m. and shortly after it will be visible to the naked eye from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico in full ascent into space.
“If liftoff occurs at that time, we will see it from the island sometime between 12:05 and 12:07 AM (Sunday to Monday) heading toward the northwest horizon,” predicted Eddie Irizari, scientific publisher of the Caribbean Astronomical Society (SAC). .
If the launch occurred at 11:58 p.m., Irizari noted, observers would note that during the later part of the viewing (around 12:07 a.m.) it would be possible to see the trajectory peak and a “point” breakaway or small object observed. He explained that it is the exact moment when the second stage of the missile is stopped or completed.
If necessary, he explained, the launch could be delayed until later tonight and still be visible from the island minutes later. “The missile will pass 112 miles (180 km) above Puerto Rico while we are watching them,” he added.
“Even if you notice that the sky is a bit cloudy, there is potential to see it because you only need to see toward the northwest horizon to be able to spot it,” said Nelson Ortega, vice president of SAC.
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