Friday, 19 October, 2018

SpaceX lights up California sky in successful West coast landing zone debut

SpaceX					SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Block 5 ready for first Return-To-Launch-Site booster landing SpaceX SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Block 5 ready for first Return-To-Launch-Site booster landing
Grady Vargas | 08 October, 2018, 08:37

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 rocket will be carrying an Argentinian Earth-observing satellite, known as SAOCOM-1A, into orbit.

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.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch a satellite into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 7:21 p.m. Saturday.

The rocket boosted an Argentine environmental satellite into orbit.

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The 30th Space Wing said in a news release Tuesday that Central Coast residents may see the first stage of the Falcon 9 returning to Vandenberg.

In keeping with that vision, tonight marked the second flight for this particular Falcon 9 first stage, which also helped loft 10 Iridium Next commercial communications satellites from Vandenberg on July 25.

Land landings aren't threatened by storms like ocean landings are, and they also allow SpaceX to refurbish the boosters faster, as they don't need to be recovered from sea. By that year the launch had slipped to 2014, and would continue to slip further as Falcon 9 explosions in 2015 and 2016 compounded earlier delays. The second satellite will be SAOCOM 1B.

SAOCOM-1A's radar measurements will track soil-moisture levels, thereby aiding forecasts of crop yields.

A graphic explaining sonic booms, provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base ahead of a planned SpaceX launch on October 7, 2018. "Flying both constellations along the same orbit supports a rapid response by providing SAR information in emergency situations".

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