SpaceX to launch and land Falcon 9 rocket from Southern California

SpaceX to launch and land Falcon 9 rocket from Southern California

The upgraded Block 5 Falcon 9 is part of SpaceX's plan for vastly cheaper and more efficient spaceflight.

A Space X Falcon 9 rocket was set to take off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California around 7:21 p.m.

Cheers went up from SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., as webcams showed the first stage setting itself down on Landing Zone 4. It, too, found success in landing at a new site north of Los Angeles.

The light as viewed from Four Corners in the Briceland area.

Below are some photos we were sent by viewers Sunday night. Please upload them in the comment section. It will mark the first time the innovative company has attempted a ground landing at Vandenberg. At the time, the launch was scheduled to occur from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean where SpaceX launched the now retired Falcon 1. But that's possible only when launching relatively light payloads to not-too-distant orbits; on other missions, there's not enough fuel left for the Falcon 9 first stage to maneuver all the way back to land.

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As The Verge noted, SpaceX hasn't been making sea landings by choice.

The satellite is the first of two from Argentina.

Known as plume interaction, the phenomena has been known to produce extraordinary visual effects and the launch of SAOCOM 1A was certainly no exception. The satellite is created to provide radar imagery to help emergency responders and monitor the environment, including the collection of soil moisture measurements. Both spacecraft will make similar observations from orbit, which will be integrated with measurements made by a network of Italian satellites.

The satellite is the first of two that will be used for emergency management and for land monitoring. "Flying both constellations along the same orbit supports a rapid response by providing SAR information in emergency situations". Its name is short for Satelite Argentino de Observacion Con Microondas.

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