7
$\begingroup$

We are going to visit Florida in early-mid February and were wondering if we could watch a launch. The schedule, however, does not seem to include February yet.

For the purposes of planning our trip - at what time would we be able to see a launch date being set if there was going to be one? The NASA homepage does not seem to have much info on this topic.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Two things to note. Launch dates can and do change all the time. Sometimes they change by months and sometimes by day. Sometimes you are there at the viewing site and a mechanical fault is discovered at the last minute and you have to come back the next day. Second, you may need an invitation from NASA to watch a launch. They are easy to get but you may have to request them. Usually the companies/contractors/institutes who worked on the mission get the invitation AND they can bring others with them. I have no idea what portion of the launches are just open to everyone without invitations. $\endgroup$ – Fixed Point Dec 14 '16 at 22:32
  • $\begingroup$ This could be the first legitimate question on SE that has a one-word answer: Years. $\endgroup$ – honeste_vivere Jan 30 '17 at 14:23
10
$\begingroup$

One of the best online launch manifests is the one complied by Spaceflight Now. It has planned launch dates all the way out to the 3rd quarter of 2017.

Unfortunately, the only launches in February with definite dates are out of Kourou and Baikonur. You may get lucky with a SpaceX launch though. The SpaceX manifest is still in flux after the the AMOS-6 failure, but they will hopefully be launching something in February. You may even get to see the Falcon Heavy demo flight.

More generally, launch dates are sometimes set many years in advance. For interplanetary missions the window for launch may be known well before the design of the spacecraft even begins.

$\endgroup$
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ It's worth noting that it's extremely common for scheduled launches to be scrubbed and postponed by a day or three, and this can happen right up to seconds before liftoff. $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Dec 14 '16 at 16:35
1
$\begingroup$

Launches are scheduled all the time, with varying firmness in those dates. It's really hard to known anything further than a week in advance if a launch attempt will happen, and stuff happens all the time. If you are lucky, Falcon 9 will be back and fully operational, they will probably do a launch every 2 weeks.

The surest launch times are for interplanetary missions, because they can't wait, planetary alignment waits for no man! The most common launches are for Earth orbiting satellites, and those rarely have to be launched on a specific date, but rather as soon as they can launch.

February seems to be a particularly poor month for launches. The only launches that are possible are Falcon launches, and those are a big maybe right now. If you could go in March you'd be much more likely to see a launch, but...

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

There are commercial and non commercial launches are happening at any day of month from different parts of world. only few countries are capable of launching independently.

So commercial launches are somewhat subjected to the situation if agency has task to launch satellite for their client.

For interplanetary and government related mission launch time and ETA are decided in their definition phase for example ISRO's MOM mission used the hohmann transfer orbit this condition only arrive in approx 2 years interval.

There is very good space calender compiled by Space flight insider.

Source

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.