The Latest: Rocket’s first stage lands back at launch site

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying an Argentinian satellite (all times local):

7:53 p.m.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage has landed back at its California launch site after carrying an Argentinian satellite into space.

The primary purpose of Sunday’s mission was to place the SAOCOM 1A satellite into orbit, but SpaceX also successfully sent a first stage booster back to Vandenberg Air Force Base for the first time.

SpaceX has previously landed first stage rockets on land after Florida launches but had not done so on the West Coast.

The satellite is the first of two for Argentina’s space agency. It carries a high-resolution instrument called a synthetic aperature radar that will be used for emergency management and land monitoring.

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7:48 p.m.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying an Argentinian satellite has blasted off from California.

The primary purpose of Sunday’s mission is to place the SAOCOM 1A satellite into orbit, but SpaceX will also try for the first time to bring the Falcon’s first stage back to a landing at the Vandenberg Air Force Base launch site.

SpaceX has previously landed first stage rockets on land after Florida launches but has not done so on the West Coast.

The Air Force last week advised residents on the central California coast they may see multiple engine burns by the first stage and hear one or more sonic booms as it returns.

The satellite is the first of two that will be used for emergency management and for land monitoring.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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