Watch Firefly Aerospace Noise from Summer Rocket Launch – NBC Los Angeles

Southern Californians and other skywatchers in the Western U.S. may be able to catch a glimpse of Firefly Aerospace's Alpha rocket when it launches from the coast of Santa Barbara County on Tuesday evening.

The launch window, part of the Noise of Summer mission and originally scheduled for Monday, will open at 9:03 p.m. PT at Vandenberg Space Force Base, about 155 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The rocket's exhaust plume could be illuminated by the setting sun against a darkening sky, potentially revealing a wide swath of the Western United States as the rocket soars over the Pacific Ocean.

This map shows visibility for the launch of the Noise of Summer mission of a Firefly Alpha rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base.

In clear skies, rockets launched from the base and their exhaust are sometimes visible hundreds of miles away as they fly along the coast. Launches just after sunset and before sunrise usually provide the best visibility, as the rocket reflects the sun's rays against the dark sky.

Sunset in Los Angeles is scheduled for 8:08 p.m. on Tuesday.

Click here for live coverage with Firefly and

The launch is the fifth use of the Alpha rocket and comes six months after its last flight. The launch scheduled for Monday was canceled due to a problem with the ground launcher.

The Noise of Summer Earth science mission will launch eight cubesats – small box-shaped mini-satellites – from the 95-foot-tall Alpha rocket, which made its first test flight in September 2021. The cubesats were selected as part of NASA's Cubesat Launch Initiative, which was created to provide a path to space for satellites developed at U.S. colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations.

Two of the satellites have been designed to work together as a pair and improve relative navigation between spacecraft in orbit. The goal is to solve the problem of increasing satellite congestion in orbit.

Click here to learn more about the eight satellites.