Science

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

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

LZ-4 is built on the former site of Space Launch Complex 4W, from which Titan rockets were previously launched.

"Sonic boom warning. This won't be subtle", he wrote.

In a move that could cut its costs to launch space hardware even further, SpaceX landed a first-stage booster on a pad at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on Sunday night.

SpaceX designs, manufactures, and launched advanced rockets and spacecrafts.

SpaceX was also aiming to land its Falcon 9 rocket after successful deployment of the satellite. The first stage returned back to the Earth base, landing about 8 minutes after its takeoff.

The Air Force warned area residents to expect unfamiliar sonic booms.

SpaceX has a contract to ferry American astronauts to the International Space Station as part of what's known as the "Commercial Crew" programme with Nasa, but the timeline for the first flights has slipped repeatedly.

But as always, the landing was a secondary objective. "The rocket took off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 7:21 p.m. and landed safely back on Earth". The second satellite will be SAOCOM 1B. 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.

The primary objective of the SpaceX mission was to place the SAOCOM 1A satellite into orbit, but SpaceX also wanted to expand its recovery of first stages to its launch site at Vandenberg. But a successful landing would mean the company would no longer have to rely only on its drone ship for post-launch landings, according to Wired.



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