SpaceX preps light and sound show of a landing for California


Elon Musk and company will be bringing a Falcon 9 back to Earth in the Golden State for the first time.

If you see something on Sunday night that looks like it came from space, it did. But don’t worry. It’s just a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket landing in California for the first time.

Elon Musk’s launch company is set to send one of its previously used Block 5 Falcon 9 rockets to space on Sunday. The rocket will carry an Argentine Earth-imaging satellite and deliver it to orbit.

Within about ten minutes of liftoff, which is set for 7:21 p.m. PDT at Vandenberg Air Force Base, the first stage of the Falcon 9 will return to a nearby landing pad.

“Local residents may see the first stage of the Falcon 9 returning to Vandenberg AFB, including multiple engine burns associated with the landing,” reads a statement from the Air Force. “During the landing attempt residents from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties may hear one or more sonic booms.”

SpaceX has previously launched a Falcon 9 from Vandenberg and landed it offshore in the Pacific Ocean aboard a droneship. This will be the first west coast landing to take place ashore.

The first stage of this particular Falcon 9 was used on a July 25 launch that carried ten Iridium satellites.

The launch had been planned for Saturday evening, but was delayed 24 hours to allow additional time for last-minute checks.

SpaceX didn’t immediately respond to a request for information about the launch.

Los Angeles is also home to SpaceX headquarters and the company has leased a portion of the city’s port to begin work on its Big Falcon Rocket, which is commonly referred to as “BFR.” Musk hopes BFR will carry a group of artists around the moon in five years’ time. Eventually, he says, it could bring humans to Mars.

Liftoffs and landings in Central California may become a more common sight as the company works to ramp up its launch rate in coming months.


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