If skies stay clear for much of New Jersey Friday evening then you have a date. A date with a rocket launch.

Of course, conditions will have to be clear in Virginia too at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility where a launch window is set from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for Rocket Lab USA’s first Electron rocket.

At present, there’s a 40% possibility of rain at Wallops. But if all systems are go, the launch could be visible from New Jersey as well as New York, Pennsylvania, most of our east coast and even parts of the midwest.

The purpose of the mission, cleverly named “Virginia is for Launch Lovers,” is to deploy satellites to monitor radio frequencies for the data analytics company HawkEye 360. The 59-foot Electron rocket is set to take off at 6 p.m. but could go anywhere from 6 to  8 p.m.

Bill Ingalls/NASA
Bill Ingalls/NASA

So how can you see it?

Again, if conditions are right, people in North and Central Jersey with 3 degrees elevation or more could have line of sight for roughly 90 to 120 seconds after launch and South Jersey for about 60 to 90 seconds to take it all in.

This is definitely a bucket list item of mine. Another thing I want to experience with my own eyes is a planned building implosion. Running with the bulls in Pamplona? Not so much.

If it’s a no-go Friday evening there are various backup launch days from Saturday through Dec. 20. And if it does launch Friday but clouds get in your way you can always watch it live on a screen here.

Godspeed, Major Tom.

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