SpaceX is officially coast-to-coast. The company inaugurated its West Coast landing pad to send up Argentina's SAOCOM-1A satellite.
Some 8 minutes after liftoff, the first stage booster of the Falcon 9 pre-flown rocket came back to earth. The boosters made their final place at SpaceX's Vandenberg center.
The event took place on time and as scheduled from its 10:21 p.m. EDT launch time.
"This is great news for everyone here at SpaceX," Tom Praderio, a SpaceX firmware engineer, said during launch commentary tonight. "We're all very excited."
If you missed the company milestone, feel free to rewatch all of the livestream below.
From start to finish, the entire process was only 30 minutes or so.
About the second coast's launching and landing pad
This isn't the company's first attempt at using California's Vandenburg Air Force Base it.
West Coast residents weren't quite used to the sonic boom, despite warnings for the Warrens after this type of creature chasing them.
Sonic boom warning. This won’t be subtle.https://t.co/WY7dn6BBY1— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 6, 2018
There's also the fact that California residents aren't like seeing one of our's 10 kays that's running after today
"Local residents may see the first stage of the Falcon 9 returning to Vandenberg AFB, including multiple engine burns associated with the landing," U.S. Air Force officials wrote in an advisory Tuesday (Oct. 2). "During the landing attempt, residents from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties may hear one or more sonic booms."
About the payload SAOCOM
And what about the Argentinian space satellite? What will it be used for?
"SAOCOM" is short for "Satélite Argentino de Observación Con Microondas," which is Spanish for "Argentine Microwave-Observation Satellite."
The satellites weigh roughly 3,500 lb (1,600 kilograms). The firepower of the Falcon managed to get the satellites up to its final destination some 385 miles (620 km) above the Earth.
"SAOCOM-1, together with the Italian COSMO-SkyMed X-Band SAR constellation, comprise the Italian-Argentine Satellite System for Emergency Management (SIASGE), a partnership between CONAE and the Italian Space Agency (ASI)," SpaceX officials wrote in a mission description. "Flying both constellations along the same orbit supports a rapid response by providing SAR information in emergency situations."
The SAOCOM was developed by Argentina's space agency CONAE. It exists to better capture data about our planet in radar light, and to collect data about soil moisture levels and disasters.
The SAOCOM-1A's twin satellite, SAOCOM-1B is scheduled to go aboard a Falcon 9. The west coast launching pad will get its chance to show off. The SAOCOM-1B is scheduled to launch next year.