SpaceX rocket launch causes social media stir in Southern California

08 October, 2018, 21:14 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Amy Powell

A bright light could be seen over the southern sky in northern Nevada on Sunday night, and it came courtesy of SpaceX.

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. "During the landing attempt residents from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties may hear one or more sonic booms". The company views ground-based rocket landings as better for expediting reuse, since drone ship landings require time to return to port. Once again, the light is from a SpaceX launch.

SpaceX conducted its seventeenth launch of the year October 7, sending an Argentine radar satellite into low-Earth orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket. This was SpaceX's first land landing on the West Coast.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to warn Californians what was in store for them.

In keeping with that vision, tonight marked the second flight for this particular Falcon 9 first stage, which also helped loft 10 Iridium Next commercial communications satellites from Vandenberg on July 25.

A look at Landing Zone 4, SpaceX's newest rocket landing site, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.


The SAOCOM 1 mission aims to study soil moisture using synthetic-aperture radar readings from two identical satellites in low Earth orbit, SAOCOM 1A and 1B.

The private spaceflight company has launched multiple satellites and shuttled supplies and science gear to the International Space Station, with its Falcon 9 being the first spacecraft from a private company to reach the station in 2012.

As the biggest antenna in space for a civil mission, its main goal is to gather soil moisture information.

The satellite is the first of two from Argentina. "Flying both constellations along the same orbit supports a rapid response by providing SAR information in emergency situations".

"SAOCOM" is short for "Satélite Argentino de Observación Con Microondas", which is Spanish for "Argentine Microwave-Observation Satellite".

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