‘This won’t be subtle’: SpaceX West Coast launch will create sonic boom

Cesar Mills
October 8, 2018

It's the very first time SpaceX (or anyone) has successfully landed a rocket on the West Coast.

In the launch, scheduled for shortly after 7:20 p.m., a Falcon 9 rocket will carry the satellite SAOCOM 1A to space.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket's first stage has landed back at its California launch site after carrying an Argentinian satellite into space. People located in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties might even be able to hear a sonic boom from the launch, which could also create a "spectacular" light show, according to ABC 7.

SpaceX has flown boosters back to land after launches from Florida but has yet to do so in California. Prior landings have taken place on the East Coast.

Minutes after launch, the rocket's second stage separated from the first-stage booster and continued rising spaceward.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk was a bit more succinct in a pre-launch tweet: "Sonic boom warning".

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The upgraded Block 5 Falcon 9 is part of SpaceX's plan for vastly cheaper and more efficient spaceflight.

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

The primary goal of the flight was to boost Argentina's SAOCOM 1A satellite into an orbit around Earth's poles, the first of two orbital radar stations capable of "seeing" through clouds and at night to measure soil moisture, a key indicator of crop yields, droughts and floods.

A look at Landing Zone 4, SpaceX's newest rocket landing site, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The satellite's twin, SAOCOM-1B, will also launch on a Falcon 9; its liftoff is targeted for next year. Its name is short for Satelite Argentino de Observacion Con Microondas.

Other reports by GizPress

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