Friday, 19 October, 2018

First SpaceX West Coast rocket landing lights up California sky

SpaceX rocket contrail over L.A ‘This Won’t be Subtle’: SpaceX West Coast Launch to Create Large Sonic Boom
Sandy Nunez | 09 October, 2018, 17:15

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

The primary goal of Sunday's mission was to place the SAOCOM 1A satellite into orbit, but SpaceX also successfully sent a first stage booster back to the base for the first time. But tonight's event marked SpaceX's first-ever land touchdown on the West Coast.

The Californian skies dazzled at night with a spectacular light show as SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was launched yesterday. There's no specified launch window, and that could force SpaceX to move liftoff to October 11th if it has to scrub the launch on the 7th. "Sonic boom warning", Musk wrote.

On Twitter, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said it "wouldn't be subtle". First-stage boosters that landed on SpaceX's floating platform in the Pacific Ocean returned to the Port of Los Angeles and were then trucked to Hawthorne for refurbishment.

If anything goes wrong during the launch and landing, there is a risk of explosion.

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"Local residents may see the first stage of the Falcon 9 returning to Vandenberg AFB, including multiple engine burns associated with the landing", an advisory from the base explained. LZ-4 is built on the former site of Space Launch Complex 4W, from which Titan rockets were previously launched. This mission has the main aim to gather soil moisture information. The mission will also help planners and emergency-management officials keep tabs on wildfires, floods and other disasters.

The launch also looked just as stunning in video.

Its name is short for Satelite Argentino de Observacion Con Microondas.

Argentina's National Commission on Space Activities, or CONAE, will operate the two SAOCOM satellites in cooperation with the Italian Space Agency's COSMO-SkyMed radar satellites.