Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
Science | By Celia Watts

Sonic-boom UFO show! SpaceX launches satellite, lands rocket booster in California

Sonic-boom UFO show! SpaceX launches satellite, lands rocket booster in California

The satellite is the first of two from Argentina.

Photographer Joaquin Baldwin captured this spectacular image of SpaceX's successful Falcon 9 rocket launch and landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on October 7, 2018.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried an Argentinian Earth-observation satellite into space Sunday and for the first time landed a first-stage booster back at its California launch site.

"Sonic boom warning. This won't be subtle", he wrote.

Proving out a successful booster retrieval system on the West Coast marks another step in SpaceX's drive to increase rocket reusability and as a result drive down the cost of access to space.

Shortly afterward SpaceX showed a shot of Falcon 9, successfully landed on landing zone 4. SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk also warned of the boom from his Twitter account.

"During the landing attempt, residents from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties may hear one or more sonic booms", according to the advisory.

The Air Force said before the 7:22 p.m. launch that it expected that people as far away as Sacramento and Southern California would see the rocket's contrail. Once again, the light is from a SpaceX launch. All previous recoveries in California used a drone ship to land boosters out at sea. The satellite is created to provide radar imagery to help emergency responders and monitor the environment, including the collection of soil moisture measurements. This may include multiple engine burns.

SAOCOM 1B is planned to launch next year.

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.

Like this: