SpaceX satellite launch lights up night sky, social media

SpaceX satellite launch lights up night sky, social media

The SpaceX mission, masterminded by billionaire Elon Musk, marks the 62nd flight of the Falcon 9, a rocket created to land back on Earth so it can be used again.

The Falcon 9 rocket took Argentine satellite SAOCOM 1A into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, on the coast northwest of Los Angeles.

The company launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California.

U.S. Air Force officials warned residents of multiple counties across the Golden State earlier this week that they might hear "one or more sonic booms" during the landing attempt.

The satellite is the first of two that will be used for emergency management and for land monitoring. It was also the first West Coast landing of an orbital class rocket booster on land, SpaceX said.

SpaceX has previously launched a Falcon 9 from Vandenberg and landed it offshore in the Pacific Ocean aboard a droneship.

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The notoriously foggy launch site provided a rare clear day for the private aerospace company; the only visible clouds were those formed by gaseous liquid oxygen bleeding off from the vehicle itself, according to SpaceX engineer Tom Praderio.

SpaceX is aiming to lower the cost of space travel by designing rocket boosters that are reusable.

SAOCOM 1A 3,000-kilogram satellite built by INVAP and this deployment was done in conjunction with Argentina's space agency with the goal of radar-imaging the earth.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket as seen from the North Coast. The booster first saw action back in July, delivering 10 Iridium NEXT communications satellites into orbit.

Argentina's satellite will reportedly track natural disasters, crop yields and soil-moisture levels from 385 miles (620km) above the earth. SpaceX tweeted to confirm the successful landing.

SpaceX has a second CONAE satellite, Saocom-1B, that it is also tasked with launching.

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