Unusual light from rocket launch visible in northern Nevada

Unusual light from rocket launch visible in northern Nevada

Unusual light from rocket launch visible in northern Nevada

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

After launching a satellite from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on Sunday evening with the Falcon 9 rocket, the spaceflight company brought its first stage booster back to Earth just under eight minutes after liftoff.

All previous recoveries in California used a drone ship to land boosters out at sea. Eastern during an instantaneous launch window. The second satellite will be SAOCOM 1B. The rocket launched the SAOCOM 1A satellite into orbit and then the rocket landed back on the west coast.

Such landings are part of SpaceX's push to develop fully and rapidly reusable rockets and spacecraft, a breakthrough that company founder and CEO Elon Musk has stressed could cut the cost of spaceflight enough to make grand exploration feats such as the settlement of Mars economically feasible. But tonight's event marked SpaceX's first-ever land touchdown on the West Coast. By that year the launch had slipped to 2014, and would continue to slip further as Falcon 9 explosions in 2015 and 2016 compounded earlier delays.

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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. Once again, the light is from a SpaceX launch. NASA and the space agencies of Europe, Italy and Canada also provided technical support.

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

Shortly afterward SpaceX confirmed that SAOCOM 1A had been successfully deployed in record time.

A graphic explaining sonic booms, provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base ahead of a planned SpaceX launch on October 7, 2018.

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