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SpaceX Launch - October 7

08 October 2018

Arizonans, and presumably Americans all over the country were collectively confused and maybe a little scared when a giant light appeared in the sky on Sunday night. After launch, the first-stage booster rocket will attempt to land at the Air Force base for the first time.

The launch, employing the upgraded Block 5 version of the Falcon 9 rocket, remained scheduled for 7:21 p.m. Once again, the light is from a SpaceX launch.

A second, almost identical satellite (SAOCOM 1B) will be launched "in the near future", also aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Praderio said.

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"Sonic boom warning. This won't be subtle" advised SpaceX founder Elon Musk on his Twitter feed on Sunday. From the perspective of a popular public viewing area a little over five miles from SpaceX's SLC-4 launch complex and LZ-4 landing zone, a period of maybe 30 seconds after S2 and S1 separated and ignited were marked by what looked exactly like the birth of a nebula.

The primary goal of the SpaceX mission was to place the SAOCOM 1A satellite into orbit, but SpaceX also wanted to expand its recovery of first stages to its launch site at Vandenberg. The satellite is one of a planned six-satellite array. Prior landings have taken place on the East Coast.

The satellite's twin, SAOCOM-1B, will also launch on a Falcon 9; its liftoff is targeted for next year.

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

The company is contracting with NASA on several ventures and one of SpaceX's spacecraft was the first private spacecraft to dock at the International Space Station.

Its name is short for Satelite Argentino de Observacion Con Microondas.

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SpaceX Launch - October 7