Next rocket launch scheduled for Thursday at 4:49 p.m. ET

The leaders of the Delta 45 space launch are encouraging the public to pay attention and be responsive to new local launch danger zones, as attempts to launch into polar orbit and south trajectory become more frequent from the Eastern Range. (Image courtesy of ULA)

BREVARD COUNTY • CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Executives of space launch Delta 45 urge the public to pay attention and respond to new local launch danger zones, as attempts to launch into polar orbit and south track have become more frequent since the eastern chain.

Boaters and aircraft operators are encouraged to consult the notices for each launch which contain detailed maps, contact details, timing and status of restrictions and closures in the area.

Last year, a polar launch attempt failed due to a range violation when a private plane strayed into restricted airspace prior to launch.

SLD 45 ended 2021 by supporting its 37th successful launch, which included two launch missions from the Cape Canaveral space station to showcase polar trajectories.

Polar orbit launch paths differ greatly from typical Eastern Range flight paths, with rockets flying south over land, meaning launch danger zones are dramatically different for public safety. .

The majority of launches from Cape Canaveral place spacecraft and astronauts in prograde orbits where they move in the same direction as the Earth’s rotation.

SLD 45 ended 2021 by supporting its 37th successful launch, which included two launch missions from the Cape Canaveral space station to showcase polar trajectories. (SpaceX Image)

However, polar launches place satellites in an orbit that revolves around the Earth’s poles, which is necessary for satellites wanting to see the entire planet and often requires a southerly launch path.

The risk of a launch being erased due to a range violation is increased if the public is not aware of the extended security measures.

“The launch pace in 2022 is going to be exceptionally busy with up to five polar launches and seven launches in total, scheduled for January alone. While three polar missions have been successfully launched over the past year and a half, Cape Canaveral has never had five southern course launches in a single month, ”said Major Jonathan Szul, Director of Operations, 1st Range Operations Squadron at CCSFS.

“Due to the unique southerly trajectories, there will be a greater potential impact on air and marine traffic along the southeast coast of Florida. We ask all pilots and mariners to recheck their Notices to Airmen (NOTAM) and Airmen (NOTMAR) to ensure they are fully aware of all pending launch activity during this historic month on the space coast.

Boaters and aircraft operators are encouraged to consult the notices for each launch which contain detailed maps, contact details, timing and status of restrictions and closures in the area. (SpaceX Image)

In the past, the majority of polar orbiting launches have taken place at Space Force Base Vandenberg in California, but recent technological advancements have allowed CCSFS to launch polar and southern trajectory missions more frequently – and pace is only increasing. SLD 45 supported the launch of the SpaceX SAOCOM-1B satellite mission in August 2020, which returned the polar-orbiting launch capability to Florida.

“It was an incredible opportunity to support a new era of space launch from Cape Canaveral. The team’s ability to adapt and thrive in a more dynamic environment is a testament to the commitment of our Guardians and Airmen to ensure that the United States maintains its secure access to space, in an increasingly space environment. and more contested, ”said 1st Lt. Brendan Kennedy, Range Operations Commander Instructor with 1st Range Operations Squadron.

The first 2022 launch to follow a southerly trajectory will be the SpaceX Falcon 9, Starlink 4-5 mission currently targeting a launch date of January 6, 2022.

The first 2022 launch to follow a southerly trajectory will be the SpaceX Falcon 9, Starlink 4-5 mission currently targeting a launch date of January 6, 2022 (SpaceX Image)