A captivating nighttime satellite launch by SpaceX lit up the sky above California on Oct. 7 as the company's Falcon 9 rocket left behind a trail of beautiful smoke and lights.
The Argentine SAOCOM 1A satellite — which will gather soil moisture information using Synthetic Aperture Radar — reached orbit 12 minutes after liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
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 rocket trail lit up the California sky, and many took to social media to share their pictures and videos of the event. Some jokingly wondered if it was a UFO. Even the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, chimed in with a beautiful photo and a poke at the supernatural trail the launch left in its wake.
Just eight minutes after takeoff, the Falcon 9 rocket returned safely to its base and landed perfectly, a first for SpaceX on the West Coast.
Liftoff and landing pic.twitter.com/IXN0NQIC1L— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 8, 2018
SpaceX has developed reusable rockets like the Falcon 9 to save costs and generate business from entities looking to launch satellites and other equipment into space.