SpaceX to launch and land Falcon 9 rocket from Southern California

10 Octobre, 2018, 07:43 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • A graphic explaining sonic booms provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base ahead of a planned SpaceX launch on Oct. 7 2018

Minutes earlier, the Falcon 9 rocket had leapt off the pad, tasked with delivering Argentina's newest Earth-observing satellite-SAOCOMM-1A- into space.

Those near the base, which is near Lompoc, may be able to see quite a show as the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket burns its rocket engines to come to a gentle landing back at the air force base, officials said. (SpaceX) achieved another milestone by successfully landing its first Falcon 9 rocket back at the California base after around 8 minutes of lift-off.

Proving out a successful booster retrieval system at the former site of Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex 4W marks another step in SpaceX's drive to increase rocket reusability and as a result drive down the cost of access to space.

SpaceX has been working with the USA government and on its own private ventures, which eventually could include private space travel, according to Musk, who also is the founder and CEO of the electric vehicle company Tesla.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk was a bit more succinct in a pre-launch tweet: "Sonic boom warning".

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The launch was the first to see SpaceX's reusable booster land in California, and SpaceX's 30th booster landing in total. For SpaceX this is the twelfth successful landing of the first stage to earth and thirtieth in the overall standings together with the marine landings on an Autonomous platform.

SpaceX has a second CONAE satellite, Saocom-1B, that it is also tasked with launching. The satellite carries an active instrument consisting of a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), which works in the microwave range of the electromagnetic spectrum, particularly the L-band.

Saocom-1A has an L-band payload created to study soil moisture for agriculture, disaster monitoring and scientific research.

The launch also looked just as stunning in video. Both spacecraft will make similar observations from orbit, which will be integrated with measurements made by a network of Italian satellites.

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

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