Saturday, 20 October, 2018

SpaceX launches rocket over San Diego, then sticks the landing

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from a launch pad in Florida A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from a launch pad in Florida
Theresa Hayes | 09 October, 2018, 17:14

SpaceX lit up the night sky in Southern California on Sunday, and sent gawkers from across the region craning their necks to the sight.

People as far away as Phoenix and Sacramento posted photos of the Falcon 9 rocket's launch and return on Sunday night.

But, no need to fear. There's no specified launch window, and that could force SpaceX to move liftoff to October 11th if it has to scrub the launch on the 7th.

The rocket, built by Elon Musk's SpaceX, was carrying the satellite SAOCOM 1A.

After it separated from the second stage, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket arrested its forward movement, and began falling back toward Earth. The rocket's previously flown first stage then flipped around and returned to the Vandenberg Air Force Base launch site, chalking up SpaceX's first West Coast landing.

The mission was also SpaceX's first to include a successful land recovery of the rocket's booster stage at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The satellite is the first of two from Argentina. Prior landings have taken place on the East Coast.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted: "Nope, definitely not aliens".

One social media captured this stunning shot from Milpitas, Santa Clara County, California.

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

"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. Its acronym is short for Satelite Argentino de Observacion Con Microondas.