SoCal Residents Warned of Possible Sonic Boom from SpaceX Launch

SoCal Residents Warned of Possible Sonic Boom from SpaceX Launch

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule carrying the Crew 8 mission launches from launch pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 3, 2024. (Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)

Jill McLaughlin
Jill McLaughlin


Updated: 5/28/2024


Residents in some coastal California counties could hear one or more sonic booms during a scheduled satellite launch and rocket landing May 28 of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, the company warned.
Those living in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties were most likely to hear the loud shock wave Tuesday afternoon when the company will launch a satellite using a rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Santa Barbara County.
Liftoff was scheduled for 3:20 p.m. Tuesday.
If that falls through, a backup launch is set for Wednesday.
About eight minutes after liftoff, Falcon 9’s booster, equipped with four landing legs made of carbon fiber, is expected to land at the base, creating sonic booms.
“What residents experience will depend on weather and other conditions,” SpaceX said in a press release.
The satellite being launched—called EarthCARE—will study clouds and aerosols around Earth as a way to improve the accuracy of climate models and weather prediction.
The project, a joint mission of the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, is expected to contribute to a better understanding of climate change.

Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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