SpaceX to launch and land Falcon 9 rocket from Southern California

A graphic explaining sonic booms provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base ahead of a planned SpaceX launch on Oct. 7 2018

A graphic explaining sonic booms provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base ahead of a planned SpaceX launch on Oct. 7 2018

- The launch clock remained set to 7:21 p.m. for SpaceX's launch of a satellite into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, and planned landing of the rocket booster 100 miles west of Los Angeles.

Earlier, the launch had been planned for Saturday, but SpaceX said Wednesday it was rescheduling the launch and would use the extra time to complete pre-flight checks.

Below are some photos we were sent by viewers Sunday night.

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

The mission got underway at 7:21:28 p.m. PDT (GMT-7; 10:21 p.m. EDT), a bit less than an hour after sunset, when the booster's nine Merlin 1D engines ignited, throttled up to full thrust and quickly pushed the 229-foot-tall rocket away from Launch Complex 4-East.

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Such landings are part of SpaceX's push to develop fully and rapidly reusable rockets and spacecraft, a breakthrough that company founder and CEO Elon Musk has stressed could cut the cost of spaceflight enough to make grand exploration feats such as the settlement of Mars economically feasible.

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

A graphic explaining sonic booms, provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base ahead of a planned SpaceX launch on October 7, 2018.

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. The mission will also help planners and emergency-management officials keep tabs on wildfires, floods and other disasters. "Flying both constellations along the same orbit supports a rapid response by providing SAR information in emergency situations".

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