December 10, 2018

SpaceX to launch and land Falcon 9 rocket from Southern California

08 October 2018, 09:13 | Edward Lowe

SpaceX to launch and land Falcon 9 rocket from Southern California

Falcon 9 rocket lifting off left from Vandenberg Air Force Base as seen from Pismo Beach Calif. Sunday Oct. 7 2018 and then its first stage returning right to Earth at a nearby landing pad. Th

Arizonans, and presumably Americans all over the country were collectively confused and maybe a little scared when a giant light appeared in the sky on Sunday night.

Californians posted videos and photos of the skies after the successful take-off, including Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti.

"Nope, definitely not aliens, "Garcetti wrote on Twitter as he posted an fantastic photo".

A second, almost identical satellite (SAOCOM 1B) will be launched "in the near future", also aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Praderio said.

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The rocket lifted off at about 7:21 p.m. local time, and landed about 12 minutes later after delivering its package to orbit.

It will be SpaceX's first time trying to land one of its reusable rockets on the West Coast.

"Sonic boom warning. This won't be subtle", SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Saturday ahead of the launch.

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. Vandenberg has warned people in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties that they might hear multiple sonic booms as the Falcon 9's first stage touches down at the base's Landing Zone 4.

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By the way: SpaceX would like to land every booster on terra firma, to ease the reflight process. Prior landings have taken place on the East Coast.

Argentina's domestic satellite manufacturer INVAP built the satellite with assistance from other agencies and domestic companies.

The mission consisted of two identical satellites, SAOCOM 1A and 1B, each of which carries an L-Band SAR polarimetric instrument.

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

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