SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Visible Across Mother Lode

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Visible Across Mother Lode

SpaceX launched and landed the Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday night - making it the first successful landing of an orbital class rocket booster on West Coast land.

This marked SpaceX's 30th landing of a first stage, as well as the first time a Falcon 9 rocket touched down on the West Coast.

The Air Force warned residents on the Central Coast that they might see multiple engine burns by the first stage and hear one or more sonic booms as it returned.

The night sky is lit up above Vandenberg Air Force Base Calif. during the launch of a SpaceX rocket carrying an Argentine Earth-observation satellite Sunday Oct. 7 2018. The bright spot at upper left is the 2nd stage heading to orbit while the bright
SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Visible Across Mother Lode

Saocom-1A is a 3,000-kilogram synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite for the Argentine space agency CONAE that was contracted in 2009 for a launch in 2012.

Previous tests sent the first stage to offshore barges, not back to launch site.

Not yet officially on the schedule, SpaceX's next Vandenberg launch is expected to be Spaceflight Industries' SSO-A rideshare mission, carrying around 70 individual satellites of varying masses.

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To put the satellite into the intended polar orbit, the Falcon 9 quickly arced away to the south over the Pacific Ocean, smoothly accelerating as it consumed its liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants and lost weight.

The satellite is the first of two for Argentina's space agency, the Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales, and will work in conjunction with a constellation of Italian space agency satellites. SpaceX tweeted to confirm the successful landing.

SpaceX has been working with the USA government and on its own private ventures, which eventually could include private space travel, according to Musk, who also is the founder and CEO of the electric vehicle company Tesla. The mission's main objective is to collect soil moisture information.

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The SAOCOM launch marks SpaceX's 17th launch of the year.

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