If you see something Sunday night that seems to come from space, it’s just happened. But do not worry. It’s only a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that lands for the first time in California.
The Elon Musk launch company is expected to send one of the Blocks 5 Falcon 9 rockets previously used in space on Sunday. The rocket will carry an Argentinean satellite of terrestrial imagery and deliver it in orbit.
About ten minutes after takeoff, which is scheduled for 19:21. TAP at Vandenberg Air Base, the first leg of the Falcon 9 will return to the nearby landing area.
“Residents of the area can see the first phase of the Falcon 9 return to Vandenberg Air Force Base, including multiple engine burns associated with the landing,” read the Air Force statement. “When trying to land, residents of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties can hear one or more sonic booms.”
SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launches In California
SpaceX had previously launched a Falcon 9 from Vandenberg and landed it off the Pacific Ocean in a drone. This will be the first landing on the west coast.
The first stage of this Falcon 9, in particular, was used during the launch, on July 25, of 10 Iridium satellites.
The launch had been scheduled for Saturday night but was delayed by 24 hours to allow extra time for last minute checks.
SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for information about the launch.
Now targeting October 7 for launch of SAOCOM 1A. Rocket and payload are healthy; additional time will be used to complete pre-flight vehicle checkouts.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 3, 2018
Los Angeles is also home to SpaceX headquarters and the company has leased part of the city’s port to begin work on its Big Falcon Rocket, known as the “BFR”. Musk hopes that BFR will transport a group of artists around the moon in five years. Ultimately, he says, it could bring humans to Mars.
Takeoffs and landings in central California could become a more common phenomenon as the company works to accelerate its launch rate in the coming months.
The public can see this launch and land from Hawk’s Nest on Azalea Lane, off Highway 1, half a mile south of Vandenberg’s main gate.
The doors of Hawk’s Nest will open at 5 pm Sunday and closed at 19:10
Alcohol, smoking, open fires and barbecues will not be allowed. Pets and guns are also prohibited, as are recreational vehicles and campers.
The use of small unmanned aerial systems, or drones, is prohibited within five miles (4.8 km) of an active runway, such as Vandenberg, officials said.
Weather permitting, other sites in the Lompoc Valley can also offer views of the launch and landing. These include the Harris Grade Road Peak and several locations in the village of Vandenberg.