SpaceX lands its first rocket on West Coast ground

Used SpaceX Rocket to Launch Satellite Try Historic Landing Tonight Watch Live

Used SpaceX Rocket to Launch Satellite Try Historic Landing Tonight Watch Live

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the SAOCOM-1A Earth-observation satellite launches from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on October 7, 2018.

Residents in southern California could see a rocket launch and hear sonic booms on Sunday evening as part of a historic SpaceX mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County.

After it separated from the second stage, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket arrested its forward movement, and began falling back toward Earth.

SpaceX has flown boosters back to land after launches from Florida but has yet to do so in California. A sonic boom sounds like an explosion or thunder and is the result of shock waves from a vehicle traveling faster than sound.

The satellite is the first of two for Argentina's space agency.

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

A graphic explaining sonic booms, provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base ahead of a planned SpaceX launch on October 7, 2018. Prior landings have taken place on the East Coast. SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk also warned of the boom from his Twitter account.

The loudness of the boom will depend on the weather and other conditions, officials added. It carries a high-resolution instrument called a synthetic aperature radar that will be used for emergency management and land monitoring. Its name is short for Satelite Argentino de Observacion Con Microondas.

The satellite's twin, SAOCOM-1B, will also launch on a Falcon 9; its liftoff is targeted for next year.

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