SpaceX West Coast launch to bring sonic booms to California

08 October, 2018, 10:25 | Author: Kristi Owen
  • ‘This Won’t be Subtle’: SpaceX West Coast Launch to Create Large Sonic Boom

The California-based aerospace manufacturing company founded by Elon Musk launched its Falcon 9 rocket Sunday evening.

SAOCOM 1A 3,000-kilogram satellite built by INVAP and this deployment was done in conjunction with Argentina's space agency with the goal of radar-imaging the earth. The rocket plume is expected to be illuminated by the sun after the launch at 7:21 p.m. Sunday. Please let us know where you took the image.

SpaceX has previously landed first stage rockets on land after Florida launches but has not done so on the West Coast. During previous West Coast launches, it has sent out a ship equipped with a giant net to catch parafoil-equipped components of the nosecone as the descend toward the ocean.

Following stage separation, Falcon 9's first stage will return to land at SpaceX's Landing Zone 4 (LZ-4) at Vandenberg Air Force Base. There's no specified launch window, and that could force SpaceX to move liftoff to October 11th if it has to scrub the launch on the 7th. This may include multiple engine burns.


"During the landing attempt residents from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties may hear one or more sonic booms". "A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves from an aircraft or vehicle traveling faster than the speed of sound".

The loudness of the boom will depend on the weather and other conditions, officials added. The satellite is created to provide radar imagery to help emergency responders and monitor the environment, including the collection of soil moisture measurements.

SpaceX has a second CONAE satellite, Saocom-1B, that it is also tasked with launching.

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