Space X Launch Lights Up Bay Area Skies

Space X Launch Lights Up Bay Area Skies

Combined, the rocket plumes are thus backlit by the sun at the same time as the sky to any grounded observer is nearing total darkness, akin to an aurora or bioluminescence in the deep sea.

SpaceX has a goal of using the boosters up to ten times with little maintenance, and 100 with refurbishment, as well as being able to relaunch boosters 24 hours after landing.

"Local residents may see the first stage of the Falcon 9 returning to Vandenberg AFB, including multiple engine burns associated with the landing", the Air Force said on its website.

SpaceX landed the rocket's first stage at a newly built landing pad called LZ-4 that is located near Vandenberg's SLC-4E launch pad where the rocket took off.

A Falcon 9 rocket with a pre-flown first stage launched from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base tonight (Oct. 7) at 10:21 p.m. EDT (7:21 p.m. local time; 0221 GMT on October 8), successfully delivering Argentina's SAOCOM-1A Earth-observation satellite to orbit.

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

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

From the ground, Twitter users posted incredible shots of the Falcon 9 coming back to Earth.

SpaceX is launching a satellite to space Sunday - and it's going to be noisy, Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County warns.

SAOCOM-1A's radar measurements will track soil-moisture levels, thereby aiding forecasts of crop yields.

The satellite is the first of two that will be used for emergency management and for land monitoring.

SAOCOM 1B is planned to launch next year. "Flying both constellations along the same orbit supports a rapid response by providing SAR information in emergency situations".

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