Eastern during an instantaneous launch window. Only 12 of these launches has managed to land on the solid ground. Following stage separation, Falcon 9's first stage returned to land at SpaceX's Landing Zone 4 (LZ-4) at Vandenberg Air Force Base. SpaceX tweeted to confirm the successful landing.
According to the Associated Press, a SpaceX rocket carrying an Argentinian satellite blasted off from California around 7:20 p.m. Sunday.
The satellite is the first of two for Argentina's space agency. By that year the launch had slipped to 2014, and would continue to slip further as Falcon 9 explosions in 2015 and 2016 compounded earlier delays.
It's the very first time SpaceX (or anyone) has successfully landed a rocket on the West Coast.
The launch put a spectacular show for the onlookers as it was night lit by the fiery exhaust of a 229-foot rocket. It has already achieved success in the recovery of rocket boosters several times during the past missions, both on earth and on drone ships at the sea. Global partnerships include ground support from the European Space Agency, and technical support from The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and NASA. This mission has the main aim to gather soil moisture information.More news: Category 4 Hurricane Michael making landfall today
The satellite is the first of two that will be used for emergency management and for land monitoring.
Having a rocket's first stage return safely to Earth is part Space Exploration Technologies Corp's strategy to reduce launch costs and win market share.
It will be followed by SAOCOM 1B in 2019.
The launch also looked just as stunning in video.