SpaceX to launch and land Falcon 9 rocket from Southern California

SpaceX to launch and land Falcon 9 rocket from Southern California

SpaceX to launch and land Falcon 9 rocket from Southern California

(SpaceX) achieved another milestone by successfully landing its first Falcon 9 rocket back at the California base after around 8 minutes of lift-off.

The rocket will be carrying an Argentinian Earth-observing satellite, known as SAOCOM-1A, into orbit. Residents in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties may hear sonic booms.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was one of the many Californians posting stunning videos and photos of the rocket as it lit up the evening skies over the West Coast.

SpaceX has flown boosters back to land after launches from Florida but has yet to do so in California. There's no specified launch window, and that could force SpaceX to move liftoff to October 11th if it has to scrub the launch on the 7th.

If the mission goes according to plan, Sunday night will mark SpaceX's first landing of this sort on the West Coast.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk had tweeted the previous day: "This won't be subtle". After launch, the first-stage booster rocket will attempt to land at the Air Force base for the first time.

Mr Musk is the chief executive officer, chairman and largest shareholder of both SpaceX and Tesla, two companies that are pushing frontiers of technology while surrounded by different degrees of drama.

A look at Landing Zone 4, SpaceX's newest rocket landing site, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

SAOCOM 1A is operated by Argentina's Space Agency, the National Commission on Space Activities (CONAE). The spacecraft will set up shop 385 miles (620 kilometers) above Earth and scrutinize the planet using a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instrument. Its acronym is short for Satelite Argentino de Observacion Con Microondas.

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