SpaceX successfully launches - and lands - rocket in Southern California

The skies above Los Angeles were alight with a remarkable sight as SpaceX launched a satellite into orbit on its Falcon 9 rocket.

SpaceX landed the rocket's first stage at a newly built landing pad called LZ-4 that is located near Vandenberg's SLC-4E launch pad where the rocket took off. The California-based aerospace manufacturing company founded by Elon Musk launched its Falcon 9 rocket Sunday evening. The first stage returned back to the Earth base, landing about 8 minutes after its takeoff. Boosters are shorter-burning rocket motors/engines that are used alongside the main rockets to augment the space vehicle's takeoff thrust and payload capacity during initial stage launch.

This marks the first time that the Falcon 9 has landed anywhere else but Cape Canaveral in Florida or the company's droneship Of Course I Still Love You.

Share this article: The SpaceX landing site at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The Californian skies dazzled at night with a spectacular light show as SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was launched yesterday.

SAOCOM 1A is operated by Argentina's Space Agency, the National Commission on Space Activities (CONAE). The Associated Press reports that it was carrying an Argentinian satellite into space.

SAOCOM-1A's radar measurements will track soil-moisture levels, thereby aiding forecasts of crop yields. SpaceX got in on the action themselves, sharing four photos of the dazzling light display.

SpaceX said the primary objective of the mission is to place the SAOCOM 1A satellite into orbit. "Flying both constellations along the same orbit supports a rapid response by providing SAR information in emergency situations".

It will be followed by SAOCOM 1B in 2019.

Vanessa Coleman

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