SpaceX launch and landing in California

SpaceX launch and landing in California

SpaceX has previously landed first stage rockets on land after Florida launches but has not done so on the West Coast.

Closely held SpaceX's valuation has climbed to about $28 billion (R417bn) as it racks up successful launches, making it the third-most valuable venture-backed startup in the U.S. after Uber Technologies and Airbnb SpaceX completed a record 18 missions in 2017 and is on track to exceed that number this year. "We're all very excited".

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket with the SAOCOM-1 satellite on Sunday, October 7, 2018 at 7:21 p.m. PDT.

Los Angeles residents were similarly impressed by the rocket's ascent.

Known as "twilight phenomena", it occurs when launches take place on clear days shortly after sunset and are visible brightly from Los Angeles across the trajectory of the rocket.

It will be SpaceX's first time trying to land one of its reusable rockets on the West Coast. Although this one is the first landing on California's solid ground, even before this, the company had managed to land its rockets on the land. The satellite, Saocom-1A, separated from the launcher's upper stage about 13 minutes later.

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Since landing its first booster back on Earth in 2015, SpaceX has fine-tuned the inspection and refurbishment process. Land-based booster recovery requires more fuel to make it back to dry land.

SpaceX caused a bit of concern in December 2017 when they launched a similar rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The satellite is the first of two for Argentina's space agency, the Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales, and will work in conjunction with a constellation of Italian space agency satellites.

Saocom-1A has an L-band payload created to study soil moisture for agriculture, disaster monitoring and scientific research.

Billionaire Elon Musk also tweeted photos of his company's launch.

The company also confirmed that the satellite had entered low earth orbit.

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