Sonic-boom UFO show! SpaceX launches satellite, lands rocket booster in California

A graphic explaining sonic booms provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base ahead of a planned SpaceX launch on Oct. 7 2018

The primary objective of Sunday's mission was to place the SAOCOM 1A satellite into orbit, but SpaceX also successfully sent a first stage booster back to the base for the first time.

Earlier, the launch had been planned for Saturday, but SpaceX said Wednesday it was rescheduling the launch and would use the extra time to complete pre-flight checks.

We'd love to see any photos that you managed to get.

SpaceX first started leasing the California landing space from the Air Force in 2015 but only recently received an approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to make a return landing of this sort, Wired reports.

SpaceX has just successfully landed its first rocket on the U.S. West Coast.

This will mark the first time SpaceX has attempted a ground landing of the Falcon 9 on the West Coast.

Elon Musk put it a little more bluntly: "This won't be subtle", he wrote on Twitter. "The rocket took off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 7:21 p.m. and landed safely back on Earth".

As The Verge noted, SpaceX hasn't been making sea landings by choice.

SpaceX calls its California touchdown site Landing Zone 4, presumably because it's part of Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex 4 (SLC-4).

SAOCOM 1A 3,000-kilogram satellite built by INVAP and this deployment was done in conjunction with Argentina's space agency with the objective of radar-imaging the earth.

A look at Landing Zone 4, SpaceX's newest rocket landing site, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The satellite is the first of two that will be used for emergency management and for land monitoring. Its name is short for Satelite Argentino de Observacion Con Microondas.

Two minutes later, the second stage engine shut down as planned and two-and-a-half minutes after that, the SAOCOM 1A satellite was released into the planned polar orbit.

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