County Lines: SpaceX launches 53 Starlink satellites from Vandenberg Friday |

Santa Barbara County

SpaceX will launch 53 Starlink satellites from Vandenberg on Friday

SpaceX is targeting a Friday launch date for its Falcon 9 rocket, which is scheduled to lift off at 3:07 p.m. from Space Launch Complex 4 in Vandenberg and carry 53 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit.

The booster itself also supported NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission that launched from Vandenberg in November 2021 and two other Starlink missions.

Minutes after launch, the first stage of the reusable booster rocket will detach from the rocket as designed, re-enter Earth’s atmosphere and land on an autonomous spaceport drone – called “Of Course I Still Love You” – stationed in the Pacific Ocean, According to SpaceX.

As in previous missions of its kind, 53 Starlink Internet satellites will join the existing constellation of Starlink satellites stationed in low Earth orbit in an effort to improve SpaceX’s network and broadband signal interface for Internet users around the world.

Santa Maria

The coroner identifies a Nipomo man who died in a car crash near Highway 101, Main Street

Sheriff officials Thursday identified the Nipomo man who died after a two-vehicle rollover crash on Highway 101 near Main Street on Monday.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman, Raquel Zick, said the Sheriff’s Office of Coroner announced that the victim in the accident was 68-year-old Michael James Lewis.

The accident was reported at 9:43 a.m. when a 2007 Nissan 350Z driven by 20-year-old Marcos Salazar of Santa Maria and a Honda CRV driven by Luis collided, according to CHP officer Randal Duracek.

Dworaczyk said the two cars were heading north on Highway 101, with Honda in the right lane and Salazar in the left lane, and that an unsafe lane change caused the two cars to collide.

The collision caused the Honda to roll over multiple times and eventually travel over the highway’s central dividing wall and into the south lane, landing on its wheels and blocking traffic in the third, right lane, according to Duracek.

Lewis was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center where he later died, while Salazar was uninjured in the collision.

According to Duracek, it is not suspected that alcohol or drugs were factors that led to the collapse.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is being asked to come forward and make a statement, according to CHP officials, who added that any information could be useful in the investigation.

Those who wish to provide information are asked to contact Santa Maria CHP officials in person at 1710 Carlotti Drive or by calling 805-349-8728.

Santa Barbara County

The Central Coast Literacy Council is looking for volunteers

The Central Coast Literacy Council and the Lompoc Literacy Program are looking for volunteer teachers to help adults learn to read and write in English.

Volunteers meet face-to-face with an adult student at Santa Maria Public Library, 421 S McClelland Street, or Lombok Library, 501 E North Ave., for two hours a week.

According to the board, no previous educational experience or second language skills are required to participate.

Those interested in becoming volunteer teachers can join an upcoming and in-demand training workshop. The first will be at the Lombok Library from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on May 18; The second will be virtual via Zoom from 6-7:30 p.m. June 9; The third will be held at the Santa Maria Library from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on June 28.

Training materials, space, and support are provided at no cost. To register or for more information, visit or call 805-925-0994, ext. 2837.

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