SpaceX successfully launched a satellite into space on the back of one of their reusable rockets in California this week, marking its first West Coast rocket launch and landing.
Yes, a reusable rocket. Is there anything that can’t be reused now?
The rocket flew under the name of Falcon 9 and was the hunk of very expensive metal that escorted an Argentinian satellite into orbit.
Falcon 9 launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on the coast northwest of Los Angeles at around 7:21pm local time before the rocket-launcher-bit (highly scientific, yes) returned to the air base eight minutes later, safe and sound.
SpaceX confirmed they have now seen 30 successful booster landings – from platforms out at sea, and on land in Florida.
Argentina’s satellite will apparently be keeping an eye on natural disasters and soil-moisture levels to help forecast crop yields… all from 620km above the surface of the Earth.
In other fun Musk news – aside from getting sued for calling a British cave diver “pedo guy” – it was recently revealed that Japanese billionaire and online fashionista Yusaku Maezawa will be the first passenger on a planned SpaceX trip to the moon.
Of course this is reliant on the rocket being successfully made. Musk did caution: “It’s not 100% certain we can bring this to flight.”
But back to the Falcon 9 launch and what you’re all here to see. Some very excited Californians took to social media to post some incredible photos of the launch, seen from their homes:
— Phil Derner, Jr. (@PhilDernerJr) October 8, 2018
— Blyssey (@Blyssey) October 8, 2018
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) October 8, 2018
SpaceX Launch // Hueneme Beach pic.twitter.com/iTbVs63Abf
— legna (@__angelserrano) October 8, 2018
Nope, definitely not aliens.
What you’re looking at is the first launch and landing of the @SpaceX Falcon 9 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. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/8AKjGptpps
— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) October 8, 2018
— Eric Chu (@ericthomaschu) October 8, 2018
Falcon has landed pic.twitter.com/joqphUs1AO
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 8, 2018
The launch was even visible from Arizona:
— Daniel Telles (@DR_Telles) October 8, 2018