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

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried an Argentinian Earth-observation satellite into space Sunday and for the first time landed a first-stage booster back at its California launch site.

The California-based aerospace manufacturing company founded by Elon Musk launched its Falcon 9 rocket Sunday evening.

Nearby residents in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties were warned they "may hear one or more sonic booms" from the landing.

SpaceX had previously flown first-stage rockets back to land after Florida launches but had not done so on the West Coast.

SpaceX conducted its seventeenth launch of the year October 7, sending an Argentine radar satellite into low-Earth orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket.

SpaceX has a goal of using the boosters up to ten times with little maintenance, and 100 with refurbishment, as well as being able to relaunch boosters 24 hours after landing. Finally, dropping straight down toward Landing Zone 4, the rocket's four landing legs deployed, a single engine re-started and the booster settled to a picture-perfect touchdown in a cloud of smoke.

SAOCOM 1A 3,000-kilogram satellite built by INVAP and this deployment was done in conjunction with Argentina's space agency with the objective of radar-imaging the earth.

The launch is scheduled for shortly after 7:20 p.m., Vandenberg Air Force base officials said in an advisory. SpaceX has several other missions planned for this year, including the Falcon 9 launches of another 10 Iridium Next satellites, Es'hailSat's Es'hail-2, and the U.S. Air Force's first GPS-3 satellite.

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

SAOCOM 1, together with the Italian COSMO-SkyMed X-Band SAR constellation, make up the Italian-Argentine Satellite System for Emergency Management, or SIASGE.

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