Strange Light in Sky Is A Rocket Launch

Strange Light in Sky Is A Rocket Launch

Strange Light in Sky Is A Rocket Launch

Taking off at about 19:21 local time (02:21 GMT), the first stage of the rocket returned safely to the air base about eight minutes later.

It will be SpaceX's first time trying to land one of its reusable rockets on the West Coast.

The hype surrounding the latest SpaceX rocket apparently hadn't reached some Californians, who mistook the separation of the Falcon 9 rocket as an otherworldly event.

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Billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off in California, but plenty of skywatchers in Arizona saw the fireworks, too, on its way back to Earth. It carries carries a high-resolution synthetic aperture radar to be used for emergency management and land monitoring, The Associated Press reported.

Both the launch and landing took place at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The private spaceflight company has launched multiple satellites and shuttled supplies and science gear to the International Space Station, with its Falcon 9 being the first spacecraft from a private company to reach the station in 2012. A backup instantaneous launch opportunity is available on Thursday, October 11 at 7:21 p.m. PDT, or Friday, October 12 at 2:21 UTC.

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

As the biggest antenna in space for a civil mission, its main goal is to gather soil moisture information.

It was SpaceX's 17th flight so far this year, the company's 44th successful launch in a row and the 63rd overall for the Falcon 9 family of rockets, including the February debut of its three-core Falcon Heavy rocket.

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SpaceX has a second CONAE satellite, Saocom-1B, that it is also tasked with launching.

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