SpaceX rocket launches over Southern California after four-day delay

A Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base
A Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base carried 22 Starlink internet satellites into low-Earth orbit as seen from Whittier on Monday night.
(Raul Roa / Los Angeles Times)

After weather scuttled plans to launch a SpaceX satellite from Vandenberg Space Force Base last week, Southern California was treated to a light show Monday night.

A Starlink launch that was scheduled for Thursday night was postponed to Monday at 7:30 p.m., the company said in a statement. The rocket was airborne around 8 p.m., according to a video the company posted to X. Angelenos were posting images of the rocket’s trail in the sky not too long afterward.

The launch had been planned for 7:30 p.m. Thursday until bad weather caused the takeoff to be scrapped. SpaceX announced the cancellation at 10:22 p.m. Thursday.


Earthlings from Southern California to Phoenix were treated to a spectacular, albeit brief, show as night fell and the light illuminated the sky.

March 18, 2024

Monday’s mission, seen just after sunset in the skies northwest of Los Angeles, featured a “Falcon 9 launch of 22 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit,” the company said.

The last such launch provided onlookers with a spectacle that generated buzz across Southern California, with some people on social media questioning what they were seeing in the sky.

That memorable launch at sunset on March 18 was the 10th from Vandenberg Space Force Base, making Monday’s launch No. 11. As reports, it was also the 32nd Falcon 9 launch of 2024, “and the 21st dedicated to building out the Starlink megaconstellation.”

Times staff writer James Queally contributed to this report.