SpaceX launch lights up the Southern California sky. See photos and videos

09 October, 2018, 17:13 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • SpaceX rocket contrail over L.A

"Sonic boom warning. This won't be subtle", he wrote.

The Falcon 9, now on base at California's SpaceX launch pad will take off on Sunday night at 7:21 p.m. PT, with a mission to launch an Argentinean Earth-observing satellite into orbit, and then touch back down in a new landing zone located just a quarter mile away from takeoff, Wired reported. Pacific time. The launch was delayed one day for "pre-flight vehicle checkouts", SpaceX tweeted last week.

Residents across the Mother Lode had a clear view of the first ever SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from the West Coast. SpaceX has several other missions planned for this year, including the Falcon 9 launches of another 10 Iridium Next satellites, Es'hailSat's Es'hail-2, and the U.S. Air Force's first GPS-3 satellite. The Air Force had advised the people in Central California about seeing mysterious lights and also sounds of engine booms while the first stage returned back to its base.

The success achieved in the safe return of the first stage is significant for SpaceX as the company is looking at a reduction in launch cost through such measures.


But as always, the landing was a secondary objective.

According to SpaceX's press release, SAOCOM 1A is carrying an "active instrument consisting of a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), which works in the microwave range of the electromagnetic spectrum, particularly the L-band".

Videos of the rocket's liftoff also drew attention.

The rocket deployed Argentine satellite SAOCOM 1A into orbit approximately 12 minutes after its launch. SpaceX's landing record now stands at 30 successful booster recoveries, 11 at Cape Canaveral, one at Vandenberg and 18 on droneships.

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