Science

Rocket's first stage lands back at launch site

Rocket's first stage lands back at launch site

In the launch, scheduled for shortly after 7:20 p.m., a Falcon 9 rocket will carry the satellite SAOCOM 1A to space.

Below are some photos we were sent by viewers Sunday night.

SpaceX has flown boosters back to land after launches from Florida but has yet to do so in California.

It's the very first time SpaceX (or anyone) has successfully landed a rocket on the West Coast. "The rocket took off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 7:21 p.m. and landed safely back on Earth".

SpaceX has a goal of using the boosters up to ten times with little maintenance, and 100 with refurbishment, as well as being able to relaunch boosters 24 hours after landing.




It was SpaceX's 17th flight so far this year, the company's 44th successful launch in a row and the 63rd overall for the Falcon 9 family of rockets, including the February debut of its three-core Falcon Heavy rocket.

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

The launch of the satellite, SAOCOM 1A, is being conducted for Argentina's space agency.

A look at Landing Zone 4, SpaceX's newest rocket landing site, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. It carries a high-resolution instrument called a synthetic aperature radar that will be used for emergency management and land monitoring. The second satellite will be SAOCOM 1B. Both spacecraft will make similar observations from orbit, which will be integrated with measurements made by a network of Italian satellites. Flying both satellite constellations along the same orbit supports a rapid response by providing radar readings in emergency situations.

"SAOCOM" is short for "Satélite Argentino de Observación Con Microondas", which is Spanish for "Argentine Microwave-Observation Satellite".