SpaceX lands its first rocket on West Coast ground

The first Block 5 Falcon 9 at Kennedy Space Center.                  SpaceX

The first Block 5 Falcon 9 at Kennedy Space Center. SpaceX

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch a satellite into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 7:21 p.m. Saturday.

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

Minutes after launch, the rocket's second stage separated from the first-stage booster and continued rising spaceward. The rocket launched the SAOCOM 1A satellite into orbit and then the rocket landed back on the west coast.

SpaceX had already pulled off more than two dozen first-stage landings during orbital liftoffs, with the boosters coming down on robotic "drone ships" stationed in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and on terra firma at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The rocket plume is expected to be illuminated by the sun after the launch at 7:21 p.m. Sunday.

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

SpaceX has also been experimenting with a procedure to save additional millions of dollars by retrieving the Falcon 9's fairing, or nose cone.

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If anything goes wrong during the launch and landing, there is a risk of explosion.

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.

Viewers took to social media to speculate on the rocket, which was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, which is about 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

SAOCOM 1A carries a high-resolution instrument called a synthetic aperature radar that will be used for emergency management during disasters and for land monitoring.

SAOCOM-1A's radar measurements will track soil-moisture levels, thereby aiding forecasts of crop yields. Both spacecraft will make similar observations from orbit, which will be integrated with measurements made by a network of Italian satellites. Its name is short for Satelite Argentino de Observacion Con Microondas.

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