SpaceX Launch Seen in Local Skies


Lighting up the evening sky, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket streaked away from Southern California, boosting an Argentine environmental satellite into orbit.

On Sunday, SpaceX completed a historic launch (and landing) after it successfully sent one of its previously used Block 5 Falcon 9 rockets into space, delivering SAOCOM 1A - an Argentinian Earth-imaging satellite - into orbit, before landing safely in Vandenberg AFB in California.

SpaceX landed the rocket's first stage at a newly built landing pad called LZ-4 that is located near Vandenberg's SLC-4E launch pad where the rocket took off.

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"During the landing attempt, residents from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties may hear one or more sonic booms", according to the advisory.

A bit less than eight minutes after launch, the first stage broke through the sound barrier, began a single-engine landing burn, deployed its landing legs, and came to a gentle rest at Landing Zone-4, B1048's second successful launch and landing.

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket with the SAOCOM-1 satellite on Sunday, October 7, 2018 at 7:21 p.m. PDT.

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The primary goal 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. Including Sunday's successful landing, SpaceX has returned 30 total boosters back to land or to a floating sea platform. It was a planned launch by Hawthorne-based SpaceX.

The satellite is the first of two from Argentina.

A handsome sky show following Falcon 9's launch. That almost identical satellite will launch in "the near future", also on a Falcon 9, according to the mission narrator for the Saocom-1A webcast.

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The SAOCOM launch marks SpaceX's 17th launch of the year.