In a First, SpaceX Launches and Lands a Rocket at California Base

Falcon 9 rocket lifting off left from Vandenberg Air Force Base as seen from Pismo Beach Calif. Sunday Oct. 7 2018 and then its first stage returning right to Earth at a nearby landing pad. Th

Social media lights up with SpaceX satellite launch

But, no need to fear.

A graphic explaining sonic booms, provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base ahead of a planned SpaceX launch on October 7, 2018.

Following the launch, the Falcon 9 rocket successfully landed on SpaceX's new Landing Zone 4 (LZ-4) landing pad at the Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Officially, the rocket company owned by Elon Musk was launching its Falcon 9 rocket into space to deliver SAOCOM 1A, an Argentine satellite, into orbit.

Space-X successfully launched an Argentinian radar observation satellite from Vandenberg AFB this evening at 7:21 PDT.

SpaceX has previously landed first stage rockets on land after Florida launches but had not done so on the West Coast.

Landing and refurbishing first-stage boosters is key to SpaceX's plans to decrease launch costs. It has already achieved success in the recovery of rocket boosters several times during the past missions, both on earth and on drone ships at the sea.

Californians from Los Angeles to Sacramento - about 270 miles (435 kilometers) from the launch site - also posted their confusion. SAOCOM 1A is operated by Argentina's Space Agency, the National Commission on Space Activities (CONAE).

"During the landing attempt, residents from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties may hear one or more sonic booms", according to the advisory.

SpaceX inaugurated its West Coast rocket-landing pad in style.

Minutes after launch, the rocket's second stage separated from the first-stage booster and continued rising spaceward.

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

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