3-2-1 Lift Off!

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It may have looked like the arrival of the Mother Ship, or the denouement of a superhero movie, but it was the successful launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that lit up the sky on October 9.

The rocket carried  the SAOCOM 1A Earth-observation satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base on California’s Central Coast into orbit, providing all of Southern California with a spectacular light show. Observers saw the rocket travel across the sky in a fireball, and then split, as the  reusable first stage rocket returned to land back at the base. SpaceX reported that the company’s first West Coast landing was a success. The rocket touched down on a new landing platform built on the site of the the old Titan rocket launch pad. The satellite was  deployed into orbit about 12 minutes after launch. Photos by Suzanne Guldimann

 

Suzanne Guldimann

Suzanne Guldimann is a writer, artist, and musician who lives in Malibu and loves the Santa Monica Mountains. She’s covered environment, arts, science, history and crime for the local media for more than a decade and is the author of nine books of music for the Celtic harp. She can be reached at s.guldimann@messengermountainnews.com

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