VENTURA (CBSLA) — Southland residents were treated to a spectacular sight Sunday night as SpaceX launched a satellite into space and landed the rocket back to Earth on Californian soil for the first time in the company’s history.
The Falcon 9 rocket took off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 7:21 p.m., lighting up the overcast sky before placing an Argentinian SAOCOM 1A satellite into orbit. About half an hour later, the first stage booster was sent back to the base, the first time the company has landed this type of rocket on the West Coast. They had previously touched down in Florida.
Families in Ventura, about 90 miles away from Vandenberg, set up in a cul-de-sac to watch the display.
“We’re all about creating an experience that we can remember moving forward, and create memories as a family, and this is definitely something that’s gonna be ingrained forever,” said mother Frankie Podrat. “I think that Caroline’s gonna think back and think, remember when she was looking up at the sky and hearing her yell, ‘Wow!'”
The satellite is the first of two from Argentina. It carries carries a high-resolution synthetic aperture radar to be used for emergency management and land monitoring, The Associated Press reported.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)