SpaceX launch lights up night sky in Southern California

James Marshall
October 9, 2018

The primary objective of Sunday's mission was to place the SAOCOM 1A satellite into orbit, but SpaceX also successfully sent a first stage booster back to the base for the first time. The rocket's first stage successfully returned and landed at the Vandenberg base eight minutes after taking off, while the second stage accomplished the successful deployment of SAOCOM 1A after around 12 minutes of the launch. Pacific time. The launch was delayed one day for "pre-flight vehicle checkouts", SpaceX tweeted last week. "We're all very excited".

The Air Force warned southern California area residents to expect unfamiliar sonic booms, meanwhile in Reno rays of light lit up the night sky. One of those viewers was Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti.

The launch, employing the upgraded Block 5 version of the Falcon 9 rocket, remained scheduled for 7:21 p.m. This is SpaceX's first attempt at a land landing on the West Coast.

On Twitter, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said it "wouldn't be subtle".

This will mark the first time SpaceX has attempted a ground landing of the Falcon 9 on the West Coast.

Since landing its first booster back on Earth in 2015, SpaceX has fine-tuned the inspection and refurbishment process.

SpaceX calls its California touchdown site Landing Zone 4, presumably because it's part of Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex 4 (SLC-4).

A graphic explaining sonic booms, provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base ahead of a planned SpaceX launch on October 7, 2018.

The private spaceflight company has launched multiple satellites and shuttled supplies and science gear to the International Space Station, with its Falcon 9 being the first spacecraft from a private company to reach the station in 2012.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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