SpaceX's Falcon 9 Rocket Puts on Light Show in Tonight's Sky
SpaceX's Falcon 9 Rocket Puts on Light Show in Tonight's Sky
A graphic explaining sonic booms provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base ahead of a planned SpaceX launch on Oct. 7 2018
08 October, 2018, 08:38
Now standing just ~1400 feet away from the SLC-4E pad, B1048 could very likely become the first booster SpaceX launches three times - perhaps as soon as November or December, depending on its condition after landing.
A spokesperson for the base says the rocket was launched at 7:21 p.m., and residents may see the first stage of the Falcon 9 returning to Vandenberg AFB, including multiple engine burns associated with the landing. Residents in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties may hear sonic booms.
SpaceX conducted its seventeenth launch of the year October 7, sending an Argentine radar satellite into low-Earth orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket.
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.
The rocket will be carrying an Argentinian Earth-observing satellite, known as SAOCOM-1A, into orbit.
Land landings aren't threatened by storms like ocean landings are, and they also allow SpaceX to refurbish the boosters faster, as they don't need to be recovered from sea. Once again, the light is from a SpaceX launch.
Saocom-1A has an L-band payload created to study soil moisture for agriculture, disaster monitoring and scientific research.
Shortly afterward SpaceX confirmed that SAOCOM 1A had been successfully deployed in record time. The satellite, Saocom-1A, separated from the launcher's upper stage about 13 minutes later.
"SAOCOM-1, together with the Italian COSMO-SkyMed X-Band SAR constellation, comprise the Italian-Argentine Satellite System for Emergency Management (SIASGE), a partnership between CONAE and the Italian Space Agency (ASI)", SpaceX officials wrote in a mission description.
A look at Landing Zone 4, SpaceX's newest rocket landing site, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
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