Cape Canaveral, FL – First Rocket Launch of 2012 Set for Thursday Night

Posted on: January 17, 2012

Delta launch 2012

Hey Brevard County… Focus your eyes on the sky on Thursday night! Cape Canaveral’s first launch of the year is set to blast off at 7:38 pm on Thursday, January 19, 2012. The Delta IV rocket will be carrying a next-generation military communications satellite. And currently, the weather forecast looks promising, with only a 10% chance of strong ground winds which could become a factor during the launch window.

The latest news from United Launch Alliance says that the 218-foot tall Delta IV medium rocket is set and ready for an on-time liftoff on Thursday. The rocket will be carrying the Air Force’s fourth Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft, which is a $466 million, 13,200 pound satellite that will help to improve support for warfighters and unmanned aerial vehicles.

While you should be able to see Thursday’s rocket launch from almost anywhere in Brevard County, I found this description on about the “best” location for viewing a Delta 4 launch from Cape Canaveral:

The best and closest viewing for Delta 4 launches off Pad 37 (Google Earth/Maps coordinates 28.531 N, 80.564 W) is from Port Canaveral on Route 401. At 8.6 miles clear across water — the Banana River — the view is perfect and the sound and rumble can both be decently loud, particularly for Delta 4-Heavy launches which are slow and allow the sound to linger. There is no advantage in viewing Delta 4 launches from any other location; this is the best place. However, equally distant, the Saturn V Center does offer a clear view and is also just over 8 miles from the pad; a good possibility if you prefer to combine your viewing with a tour.”

I hope you get the chance to view the first rocket launch of 2012 on Thursday night… no doubt that it will be a spectacular sight!

Sources of info: Florida Today, Boeing,, NASA photo

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