SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Visible Across Mother Lode

Cesar Mills
October 9, 2018

The Air Force warned southern California area residents to expect unfamiliar sonic booms, meanwhile in Reno rays of light lit up the night sky. The Air Force had advised the people in Central California about seeing mysterious lights and also sounds of engine booms while the first stage returned back to its base.

It was the first time SpaceX landed a first-stage booster back at its launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 130 miles (210 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.

"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.

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

Booms from the Falcon 9 booster's re-entry into the atmosphere were predicted to shake the Pacific Coast as far southeast as Ventura County, but officials said the noise pattern can not be accurately predicted given varying upper-atmospheric weather patterns.

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The success achieved in the safe return of the first stage is significant for SpaceX as the company is looking at a reduction in launch cost through such measures.

By the way: SpaceX would like to land every booster on terra firma, to ease the reflight process. This facility, which SpaceX leases from the Air Force, used to feature two launch pads, known as SLC-4 East and SLC-4 West. SpaceX has converted the western one into a landing site and launches Falcon 9s from the eastern one.

The satellite is the first of two for Argentina's space agency, Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales, and will work in conjunction with a constellation of Italian space agency satellites.

Later, SpaceX reported that the SAOCOM 1A radar satellite was placed in its proper pole-to-pole orbit.

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

Other reports by GizPress

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