SpaceX plans Vandenberg satellite launch Sunday evening may create sonic boom


The rocket's previously flown first stage then flipped around and returned to the Vandenberg Air Force Base launch site, chalking up SpaceX's first West Coast landing.

SpaceX will launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the SAOCOM 1A satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

"Local residents may see the first stage of the Falcon 9 returning to Vandenberg AFB, including multiple engine burns associated with the landing", the Air Force said on its website.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from a launch pad in Florida on March 30, 2017.

SpaceX has just successfully landed its first rocket on the U.S. West Coast.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to warn Californians what was in store for them.

As The Verge noted, SpaceX hasn't been making sea landings by choice. This will be SpaceX's first landing attempt on the ground at Vandenberg.

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the SAOCOM-1A Earth-observation satellite launches from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on October 7, 2018.

If anything goes wrong during the launch and landing, there is a risk of explosion.

The satellite will be operated by Argentina's space agency, known as the National Commission on Space Activites or by its Spanish-language acronym, CONAE.

A look at Landing Zone 4, SpaceX's newest rocket landing site, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The spacecraft will set up shop 385 miles (620 kilometers) above Earth and scrutinize the planet using a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instrument.

The satellite is the first of two that will be used for emergency management and for land monitoring.

"SAOCOM" is short for "Satélite Argentino de Observación Con Microondas", which is Spanish for "Argentine Microwave-Observation Satellite". The satellite is one of a planned six-satellite array.