On Sunday night-for the first time since July-SpaceX will attempt to launch a satellite into space, and then land part of the rocket back on its base.
Still, Vandenberg Air Force Base had warned residents last week in nearby Lompoc and other Central California cities that they could hear "one or more" sonic booms associated with the landing of the first-stage booster. It carries a high-resolution instrument called a synthetic aperature radar that will be used for emergency management and land monitoring.
SAOCOM 1A 3,000-kilogram satellite built by INVAP and this deployment was done in conjunction with Argentina's space agency with the objective of radar-imaging the earth.
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If anything goes wrong during the launch and landing, there is a risk of explosion. SAOCOM 1A is operated by Argentina's Space Agency, the National Commission on Space Activities (CONAE).
A graphic explaining sonic booms, provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base ahead of a planned SpaceX launch on October 7, 2018. SpaceX confirmed as much during its SAOCOM 1A webcast. This mission has the main aim to gather soil moisture information.
Those who knew they were watching a satellite launch posted videos they captured of the stunning spectacle, including one taken over the downtown Los Angeles skyline and a timelapse from Kern County.
Minutes after launch, the rocket's second stage separated from the first-stage booster and continued rising spaceward.