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SpaceX plans Vandenberg satellite launch Sunday evening may create sonic boom

08 October 2018

"Nope, definitely not aliens", Garcetti wrote.

A Falcon 9 rocket with a pre-flown first stage launched from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base tonight (Oct. 7) at 10:21 p.m. EDT (7:21 p.m. local time; 0221 GMT on October 8), successfully delivering Argentina's SAOCOM-1A Earth-observation satellite to orbit.

The historic part of the mission will occur soon after the launch when SpaceX attempts to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket at Vandenberg.

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Earlier, the launch had been planned for Saturday, but SpaceX said Wednesday it was rescheduling the launch and would use the extra time to complete pre-flight checks. "A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves from an aircraft or vehicle traveling faster than the speed of sound".

After Falcon 9's fireworks, booster B1048 managed a stunning return to Landing Zone 4 (LZ-4), giving local observers a nice triple sonic boom. SpaceX's landing record now stands at 30 successful booster recoveries, 11 at Cape Canaveral, one at Vandenberg and 18 on droneships.

The rocket, built by Elon Musk's SpaceX, was carrying the satellite SAOCOM 1A. It carries carries a high-resolution synthetic aperture radar to be used for emergency management and land monitoring, The Associated Press reported.

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Argentina's National Commission on Space Activities, or CONAE, will operate the two SAOCOM satellites in cooperation with the Italian Space Agency's COSMO-SkyMed radar satellites. Previous re-capture missions from Vandenberg have landed the rocket on a barge floating in the Pacific Ocean, about 400 miles out to sea.

SpaceX has also been experimenting with a procedure to save additional millions of dollars by retrieving the Falcon 9's fairing, or nose cone.

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

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SpaceX plans Vandenberg satellite launch Sunday evening may create sonic boom