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Social media lights up with the SpaceX satellite broadcast



  Social Media Lights With SpaceX Satellite Launch
The night sky is lit above the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, during the launch of a SpaceX rocket with an Argentine Earth observation satellite on Sunday, October 7, 2018. The bright point on the left is the 2nd stairway in circulation while the light point on the right is the 1st stairway back to the air base. (AP Photo / John Antczak)

When SpaceX launched a rocket with an Argentine Earth observation satellite from California, both the night sky and social media illuminated.

People as far away as Phoenix and Sacramento published pictures of the Falcon 9-race launch and return on Sunday evening. It was the first time SpaceX landed a first-step booster back at the launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 1

30 miles (209 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.

The Air Force warned residents on the central California Coast see several engine burns in the first step and hear one or more sonic bombs when it returned.

But many were surprised when the launch illuminated the sky and wondered what the other world looked like. Some speculated that it was a comet or a foreign aircraft.

"Something exploded in the sky west of Phoenix" wrote Laura Gadbery on Twitter. "Does anyone catch it or know what it was?"

Lloyd Lawrence, another user in Phoenix-more than 530 miles (853 kilometers) from the launch site, said he was driving on Interstate 10 when he saw the launch and "could not believe my eyes."

"I wondered who held the giant flashlight in the sky, "he wrote.

California from Los Angeles to Sacramento over 340 miles (547 kilometers) from launch

  Social media lights with SpaceX satellite launch
Two lines in this long exposure photo show a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off, left from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, seen from Pismo Beach, Calif. Sunday, October 7, 2018, and then its first step back, right, to the ground at a nearby landing plate. The main purpose of the mission was to place the SAOCOM 1A satellite in orbit, but SpaceX would also extend its recovery of the first steps to the starting point at the Air Force, about 130 miles (209 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles. (Joe Johnston / The Tribune (by San Luis Obispo) via AP)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was among those who tried to clear the speculation, tweeting a photo of the launch and writing: "No, definitely not aliens."

Those who knew they watched a satellite launch posted videos captured by the amazing spectacle, including one taken over the Los Angeles skyline and a schedule from Kern County.

The main purpose of the SpaceX mission was to place the SAOCOM 1A satellite in orbit, but SpaceX would also extend its recovery

SpaceX had previously flown first-rate rockets back to land after Florida launched but did not do it on the west coast.

  Social Media Lights With SpaceX Satellite Launch
] In this image made of SpaceX video, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket features an Argentine satellite launch from the Vandenberg Air Force Base launch site, about 130 miles northwest of Los Angele's on Sunday, October 7, 2018. The main purpose of the mission was to place the SAOCOM 1A satellite in orbit, but SpaceX would also extend its recovery of the first steps to the launch of the Air Force (SpaceX via AP)

SpaceX has also successfully landed Falcon 9 first stages on so-called drone ships offshore Florida and California, all as part of its effort to reduce the cost of space launches by reusing rockets rather than letting them fall into the ocean.

The satellite is the first of two for Argentina's space agency, Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales, and will work in conjunction with a constellation of the Italian Space Agency's satellites. Its acronym is short for satellite Argentino de Observacion Con Microondas.

SAOCOM 1A has a high resolution instrument called a synthetic aperatradar used for disaster management and disaster management. The other satellite will be SAOCOM 1B.

  Social Media Lights With SpaceX Satellite Launch
In this image made by SpaceX video, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket holds an Argentine satellite bombing from the Vandenberg Air Force Base site, about 130 miles (209 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles on Sunday, October 7, 2018. The main purpose of the mission was to place the SAOCOM 1A satellite in orbit, but SpaceX would also extend its recovery of the first leg to its starting point at the Air Force Base (SpaceX via AP)


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