SpaceX rocket brightens skies over Phoenix area, sparks curiosity, awe

Cesar Mills
October 10, 2018

A SpaceX rocket launch lights up the sky over Palm Springs Sunday night.

Cue the local Tweet storm, which were surprisingly slim on UFO mentions.

On Sunday, October 7 at 7:21 p.m. SpaceX successfully launched the SAOCOM 1A satellite at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

"This is great news for everyone here at SpaceX", Tom Praderio, a SpaceX firmware engineer, said during live launch commentary tonight.

Since landing its first booster back on Earth in 2015, SpaceX has fine-tuned the inspection and refurbishment process.

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Plenty of eyewitnesses took to Twitter and Facebook to post videos showing the rocket speeding into space, and the incredibly bright light it beamed back against the clouds of smoke definitely gave them reason to be concerned. Elon Musk's company had leased a former Titan rocket launch site in 2015 to build its own landing pad, but it it hasn't received clearance. Only 12 of these launches has managed to land on the solid ground. After launch, the first-stage booster rocket will attempt to land at the Air Force base for the first time.

According to SpaceX's press release, SAOCOM 1A is carrying an "active instrument consisting of a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), which works in the microwave range of the electromagnetic spectrum, particularly the L-band".

As the biggest antenna in space for a civil mission, its main objective is to gather soil moisture information.

Two minutes later, the second stage engine shut down as planned and two-and-a-half minutes after that, the SAOCOM 1A satellite was released into the planned polar orbit. The mission will also help planners and emergency-management officials keep tabs on wildfires, floods and other disasters. Its acronym is short for Satelite Argentino de Observacion Con Microondas.

Other reports by GizPress

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