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SpaceX plans Vandenberg satellite launch Sunday evening may create sonic boom

09 October 2018
SpaceX plans Vandenberg satellite launch Sunday evening may create sonic boom

Falcon 9 launch was the company 30th successful landing of the rocket booster. It was a planned launch by Hawthorne-based SpaceX.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket as seen from the North Coast.

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

The feat was achieved on Sunday evening as the company launched an earth-imaging commercial satellite for Argentina called SAOCOM 1A.

Plenty of eyewitnesses took to Twitter and Facebook to post videos showing the rocket speeding into space, and the incredibly bright light it beamed back against the clouds of smoke definitely gave them reason to be concerned. Elon Musk's company had leased a former Titan rocket launch site in 2015 to build its own landing pad, but it it hasn't received clearance.

SpaceX is aiming to lower the cost of space travel by designing rocket boosters that are reusable.

Saocom-1A has an L-band payload created to study soil moisture for agriculture, disaster monitoring and scientific research. The mission will also help planners and emergency-management officials keep tabs on wildfires, floods and other disasters.

Minutes after launch, the rocket's second stage separated from the first-stage booster and continued rising spaceward. Both spacecraft will make similar observations from orbit, which will be integrated with measurements made by a network of Italian satellites. The rocket will carry the Argentinian SOACOM 1A radar mapping satellite.

"SAOCOM" is short for "Satélite Argentino de Observación Con Microondas", which is Spanish for "Argentine Microwave-Observation Satellite".