The primary goal of the flight was to boost Argentina's SAOCOM 1A satellite into an orbit around Earth's poles, the first of two orbital radar stations capable of "seeing" through clouds and at night to measure soil moisture, a key indicator of crop yields, droughts and floods.
The Union-Tribune was soon flooded with photos that came in from such places as San Diego International Airport, Point Loma Nazarene University, Otay Ranch in Chula Vista, the coastal area of Encinitas, and from people in Tijuana. The instantaneous launch opportunity is on Sunday, October 7 at 7:21 p.m. PDT, or Monday, October 8 at 2:21 UTC, and the satellite will be deployed about 12 minutes after launch. Please let us know where you took the image.
It will be SpaceX's first time trying to land one of its reusable rockets on the West Coast.
The Falcon's first stage will then fly back to Vandenberg and set down in a landing zone on the coastal base. 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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This will mark the first time SpaceX has attempted a ground landing of the Falcon 9 on the West Coast. This may include multiple engine burns. A sonic boom sounds like an explosion or thunder and is the result of shock waves from a vehicle traveling faster than sound.
The mission could also create a spectacular light show visible across the Southland, depending on weather conditions.
Known as plume interaction, the phenomena has been known to produce extraordinary visual effects and the launch of SAOCOM 1A was certainly no exception.
The satellite is the first of two that will be used for emergency management and for land monitoring.