‘This won’t be subtle’: SpaceX West Coast launch will create sonic boom

08 October, 2018, 06:22 | Author: Darnell Taylor

This marked the first time a Falcon 9 rocket had landed on the West Coast, and was SpaceX's 30th landing of a first stage overall.

The primary objective of the mission was to place the SAOCOM 1A satellite into orbit, but SpaceX also wanted to expand its recovery of first stages to its launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The retro firings slowed the rocket down from supersonic speeds, setting off a sonic boom that could be heard in some areas (but not others).

The fact that the launch and landing took place near Los Angeles meant there were ample opportunities for Southern Californians to catch the show (and for unwitting observers to register UFO reports).

SpaceX is launching a satellite to space Sunday - and it's going to be noisy, Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County warns.

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The rocket will be carrying an Argentinian Earth-observing satellite, known as SAOCOM-1A, into orbit.

SpaceX has previously launched a Falcon 9 from Vandenberg and landed it offshore in the Pacific Ocean aboard a droneship. The second satellite will be SAOCOM 1B.

"SAOCOM-1, together with the Italian COSMO-SkyMed X-Band SAR constellation, comprise the Italian-Argentine Satellite System for Emergency Management (SIASGE), a partnership between CONAE and the Italian Space Agency (ASI)", SpaceX officials wrote in a mission description.

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

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