Thursday, July 18, 2024

SpaceX rocket launch in Cape Canaveral: What time is liftoff?

Get your coffee or favorite caffeinated drink ready − there’s a very late-night rocket launch scheduled this holiday week.

Just before July Fourth, SpaceX has planned another Starlink mission from Cape Canaveral, and the launch window is when most people will be sleeping.

However, the bright side is this: Night launches have a different kind of view and offer creativity as far as space photography. But don’t just take our word for it, click on the video playlist with this story or view any of the photo galleries attached here.

If there are changes to the launch, this story will be updated.

Is there a rocket launch from Florida? The next is Wednesday, July 3: SpaceX Starlink 8-9

Though SpaceX has not publicly confirmed this launch, another 4½-hour Starlink mission window opens early Sunday morning, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and Federal Aviation Administration navigational warnings indicate.

  • Mission: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will deploy another batch of Starlink internet-beaming satellites, which are packed inside the fairing atop the 230-foot rocket.
  • Launch window: 2:01 a.m. to 6:31 a.m. EDT Wednesday, July 3
  • Location: Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
  • Trajectory: Northeast
  • Live coverage: If you want to watch live rocket launch coverage, FLORIDA TODAY’s Space Team will provide updates at, starting 90 minutes before liftoff. You can download the free FLORIDA TODAY app, which is available in the App Store or Google Play, or type into your browser.

Space Coast weather radar: Will it rain in Melbourne, Cocoa Beach or Cape Canaveral, Florida, today?

Shown is the National Weather Service-Melbourne radar, which shows conditions in real-time for the Space Coast and other parts of Florida. The current date and time show up on the bottom right of this radar embed; otherwise, you may need to clear your cache.

Pretty much anywhere in Brevard, you’ll get a view of the rocket launch − in certain areas, you can get an amazing view of SpaceX rocket boosters returning to the pads. The best view to watch a rocket launch from the Space Coast is along the beach. However, visibility will depend on weather conditions and people should make sure not to block traffic or rights of way on bridges and to follow posted rules at beaches.

If you are viewing the launch along the Indian River in Titusville from Space View Park or Parrish Park, look east directly across the river.

If you are farther south along the Indian River, look northeast.

Playalinda Beach or Canaveral National Seashore is the closest spot to view liftoff because it is almost parallel to Launch Pad 39A. On the beach, look south along the coastline, (you can even see the pad from some spots).

Some hotspots to check out:

  • Jetty Park Beach and Pier, 400 Jetty Park Road, Port Canaveral. Note, there’s a charge to park.
  • Playalinda Beach, 1000 Playalinda Beach Road, Canaveral National Seashore. Note, there’s a charge to park, and access to Canaveral National Seashore isn’t always granted depending on capacity and time of day.
  • Max Brewer Bridge and Parrish Park, 1 A. Max Brewer Memorial Parkway, Titusville. Note, parking is available on both sides of Max Brewer Bridge.
  • Space View Park, 8 Broad St., Titusville
  • Sand Point Park, 10 E. Max Brewer Causeway, Titusville
  • Rotary Riverfront Park, 4141 S. Washington Ave., Titusville
  • Riverfront Park at Cocoa Village, 401 Riveredge Blvd., Cocoa (just before State Road 520 Causeway)
  • Cocoa Village, near the parks and shops or near the docks
  • Various parks on Merritt Island
  • Rotary Park, 1899 S. Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island
  • Kiwanis Park on Kiwanis Island Park Road on Merritt Island
  • Port Canaveral, with ships from Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean at port
  • Alan Shepard Park, 299 E. Cocoa Beach Causeway, Cocoa Beach. Note, there could be parking costs.
  • Cocoa Beach Pier, 401 Meade Ave. Parking fee varies.
  • Lori Wilson Park, 1400 N. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach. Lori Wilson Park has a dog park, by the way.
  • Sidney Fischer Park, 2200 N. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach. Note, there could be parking costs.
  • Downtown Cocoa Beach, along Minutemen Causeway
  • Tables Beach, 197 SR A1A, Satellite Beach
  • The Tides on SR A1A in Satellite Beach
  • Various parks, including the Pelican Beach Clubhouse, in Satellite Beach
  • Pineda Causeway
  • Eau Gallie Causeway
  • Front Street Park near Melbourne (U.S. 192) Causeway and U.S. 1 in Melbourne
  • Indialantic boardwalk at Melbourne Causeway and SR A1A
  • Paradise Beach Park, aka Howard Futch Park, 2301 SR A1A, Melbourne (this is a beachside park)
  • Sebastian Inlet Park, 9700 S. State Road A1A, Melbourne Beach (there is a cost to enter)
  • Ambersands Beach Park, 12566 N. SR A1A, Vero Beach (free parking)
  • South Beach Park, 1700 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach (free parking)
  • Merrill Barber Bridge in Vero Beach
  • Alma Lee Loy Bridge in Vero Beach

Sangalang is a lead digital producer for USA TODAY Network-Florida. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @byjensangalang. Support local journalism. Consider subscribing to a Florida newspaper.

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