Science

SpaceX launches rocket over San Diego, then sticks the landing

SpaceX launches rocket over San Diego, then sticks the landing”

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket into space Sunday evening, ferrying a satellite into orbit and then successfully landing its rocket back down on land for later reuse.

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

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 launches of larger payloads use more fuel, so typically touch down on the drone ships at sea, though landings on solid ground reduce turnaround times for the booster rockets.

In metro Phoenix, witnesses hit up social media with photos and videos of the peculiar streak of light and ghostlike images they saw. It carries a high-resolution instrument called a synthetic aperature radar that will be used for emergency management and land monitoring.

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.

Such sights and sounds are familiar to residents near the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida where SpaceX first landed a Falcon 9 booster in December 2015.

The satellite's twin, SAOCOM-1B, will also launch on a Falcon 9; its liftoff is targeted for next year. It's the 30th successful landing of a rocket booster.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk was a bit more succinct in a pre-launch tweet: "Sonic boom warning". The rocket boosted an Argentine environmental satellite into orbit. The satellite is one of a planned six-satellite array.

Its name is short for Satelite Argentino de Observacion Con Microondas.



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