SpaceX to launch and land Falcon 9 rocket from Southern California

10 October, 2018, 18:57 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • Amy Powell

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

People across Southern California, from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, were treated to a stunning light show moving across the darkened horizon on Sunday night.

If you saw a odd light in the sky Sunday night, you're not the only one.

The company previously has landed rockets on the ground, but always at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

As The Verge noted, SpaceX hasn't been making sea landings by choice.

Fortunately, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti took to Twitter to assuage any concerns of paranormal activity.

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The Falcon 9 Block 5 lifted off at 10:21 p.m. SpaceX got in on the action themselves, sharing four photos of the dazzling light display.

Since landing its first booster back on Earth in 2015, SpaceX has fine-tuned the inspection and refurbishment process. Following stage separation, the first stage of the rocket returned to land at SpaceX's Landing Zone 4 (LZ-4) at Vandenberg.

The company made headlines last month when Musk held a press conference to announce the first "space tourist" - a Japanese billionaire who will be launched around the moon on the company's Big Falcon Rocket in 2023.

Air Force officials issued a warning that residents in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties could potentially hear one or more sonic booms due to the flight.

The satellite's twin, SAOCOM-1B, will also launch on a Falcon 9; its liftoff is targeted for next year. The satellite carries an active instrument consisting of a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), which works in the microwave range of the electromagnetic spectrum, particularly the L-band.

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

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