Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

SpaceX Rocket Seen Across California

SpaceX Rocket Seen Across California

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket's first stage has landed back at its California launch site after carrying an Argentinian satellite into space.

SpaceX conducted its seventeenth launch of the year October 7, sending an Argentine radar satellite into low-Earth orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket. Previously, the SpaceX ground landings all have been occurred at the company's launch site: Cape Canaveral, Florida, where the company has a pair of launch and landing pads. Pacific time. The launch was delayed one day for "pre-flight vehicle checkouts", SpaceX tweeted last week. Including Sunday's successful landing, SpaceX has returned 30 total boosters back to land or to a floating sea platform.

The fact that the launch and landing took place near Los Angeles meant there were ample opportunities for Southern Californians to catch the show (and for unwitting observers to register UFO reports).

The lift-off came at its scheduled time of 7:21 p.m. SpaceX then successfully handled the launching of an Argentine satellite after setting off a colorful pyrotechnic display as its rocket stages separated.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk also warned of the boom from his Twitter account.

The SAOCOM 1 satellite is operated by Argentina's space agency, the National Commission on Space Activities, and will work in tandem with another satellite primarily to gather soil moisture information.

It will be followed by SAOCOM 1B in 2019.

By the way: SpaceX would like to land every booster on terra firma, to ease the reflight process.

SAOCOM 1A carries a high-resolution instrument called a synthetic aperture radar that will be used for emergency management during disasters and for land monitoring.

The mission's main objective is to gather soil moisture information. Its acronym is short for Satelite Argentino de Observacion Con Microondas.

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