SpaceX Launch - October 7

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from a launch pad in Florida

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from a launch pad in Florida

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

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

Californians from Los Angeles to Sacramento - about 270 miles (435 kilometers) from the launch site - also posted their confusion. The company, led by Elon Musk, sells launches on used Falcon 9 first-stage boosters at a discount to the $62 million price of a launch on a new Falcon 9 rocket.

The 3,500-lb. (1,600 kilograms) SAOCOM-1A satellite was developed by Argentina's national space agency, which is known by its Spanish acronym CONAE.

The U.S. Air Force last week warned central California residents of an expected sonic boom (or two) as the first stage of the Falcon 9 returned to Vandenberg AFB.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket as seen from the North Coast. 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. This mission has the main aim to gather soil moisture information.

While the company says this is the 30th landing of a booster, this is the first land touchdown on the West Coast - the rest have happened on land in Florida and from platforms out at sea.

The launch lit up the sky across San Diego and locals flooded KSWB with photos and questions about what they'd just seen overhead.

SAOCOM 1B is planned to launch next year.

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

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