Science

SpaceX rocket launch causes social media stir in Southern California

SpaceX rocket launch causes social media stir in Southern California

Officially, the rocket company owned by Elon Musk was launching its Falcon 9 rocket into space to deliver SAOCOM 1A, an Argentine satellite, into orbit.

A Falcon 9 rocket with a pre-flown first stage launched from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base tonight (Oct. 7) at 10:21 p.m. EDT (7:21 p.m. local time; 0221 GMT on October 8), successfully delivering Argentina's SAOCOM-1A Earth-observation satellite to orbit. (SpaceX) achieved another milestone by successfully landing its first Falcon 9 rocket back at the California base after around 8 minutes of lift-off.

The 30th Space Wing says residents may see multiple engine burns by the first stage and there may be one or more sonic booms.

The mission consisted of two identical satellites, SAOCOM 1A and 1B, each of which carries an L-Band SAR polarimetric instrument.

It will be SpaceX's first time trying to land one of its reusable rockets on the West Coast. At the time, the launch was scheduled to occur from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean where SpaceX launched the now retired Falcon 1.

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Authorities managed to open the local airport a day after the tsunami, allowing the Indonesian mlitary to start delivering aid. Germany provided a warning system developed by GFZ to Indonesia after a devastating tsunami killed 226,000 people in 2004.

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.

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. But a successful landing would mean the company would no longer have to rely only on its drone ship for post-launch landings, according to Wired.

The Falcon 9 Block 5 lifted off at 10:21 p.m.

The launch lit up the sky across San Diego and locals flooded KSWB with photos and questions about what they'd just seen overhead.