SpaceX Lights Up The Sky Over Los Angeles As It Pulls Off First West Coast Falcon 9 Rocket Landing
By now, most people know that a big part of SpaceX's business plan when it comes to rockets is reusability. Usually, SpaceX guides its first-stage rockets back to Earth after assisting in a launch so they can be used again, but the landing pad is usually on one of those big, flat drone ships SpaceX operates in the Pacific – not a location on land.
Yesterday, SpaceX managed to launch Argentina's SAOCOM-1A from Vandenberg Air Force Base on a Falcon 9 and return the first stage of the rocket to a landing pad a quarter-mile away, marking the first time SpaceX has launched and landed a rocket on the West Coast, as well as one of its rarer touch-downs on terra firma.
In the process, some SoCal residents managed to snap some pretty incredible photos of the launch, which happened in the evening. Here's the photo posted by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti:
Nope, definitely not aliens.- Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) October 8, 2018
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
The new Space Race is heating up, however, and SpaceX may soon have some competition when it comes to exploring the solar system and beyond. With the completion of the BFR on the horizon, Musk's other SpaceX projects – like the global satellite network, Starlink – may fall by the wayside.
With a reputation for pushing the boundaries of what is possible, the company could do just about anything. The only question that remains is what that will be. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay tuned for updates.