SpaceX launch and landing in California

08 October, 2018, 21:17 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • In this image made from video provided by SpaceX a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying an Argentinian satellite blasts off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base launch site about 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles on Sunday Oct. 7 2018. The

Residents across California were dumbfounded and awe-struck Sunday night as a unusual object ignited the night sky.

The primary objective of Sunday's mission is to place the SAOCOM 1A satellite into orbit, but SpaceX will also try for the first time to bring the Falcon's first stage back to a landing at the Vandenberg Air Force Base launch site.

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

The launch, employing the upgraded Block 5 version of the Falcon 9 rocket, remained scheduled for 7:21 p.m.

SpaceX launches of larger payloads use more fuel, so typically touch down on the drone ships at sea, though landings on solid ground reduce turnaround times for the booster rockets. There's no specified launch window, and that could force SpaceX to move liftoff to October 11th if it has to scrub the launch on the 7th.

Southland residents were treated to a spectacular sight Sunday night as SpaceX launched a satellite into space and landed the rocket back to Earth on Californian soil for the first time in the company's history.

"Sonic boom warning. This won't be subtle" advised SpaceX founder Elon Musk on his Twitter feed on Sunday.

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Minutes after launch, the rocket's second stage separated from the first-stage booster and continued rising spaceward.

SAOCOM 1B is planned to launch next year.

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

Proving out a successful booster retrieval system on the West Coast marks another step in SpaceX's drive to increase rocket reusability and as a result drive down the cost of access to space. The mission's main goal is to gather soil moisture information.

Argentina's National Commission on Space Activities, or CONAE, will operate the two SAOCOM satellites in cooperation with the Italian Space Agency's COSMO-SkyMed radar satellites.

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

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