SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch gave California residents another scare

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from a launch pad in Florida

The twilight launch created a spectacular sight in the night sky for spectators in Southern California, who took to Twitter to share their unbelievable photos.

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

Following successful separation from Falcon 9's upper stage and the SAOCOM 1A satellite payload, booster B1048 immediately began a rapid 180-degree flip maneuver, igniting either one or three of its Merlin 1D engines to begin its journey back to the launch site.

U.S. Air Force officials warned residents of multiple counties across the Golden State earlier this week that they might hear "one or more sonic booms" during the landing attempt.

It's the very first time SpaceX (or anyone) has successfully landed a rocket on the West Coast.

In keeping with that vision, tonight marked the second flight for this particular Falcon 9 first stage, which also helped loft 10 Iridium Next commercial communications satellites from Vandenberg on July 25.

Previous tests sent the first stage to offshore barges, not back to launch site. But a successful landing would mean the company would no longer have to rely only on its drone ship for post-launch landings, according to Wired.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the SAOCOM 1 communications satellite roars to orbit on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018.

Space-X successfully launched an Argentinian radar observation satellite from Vandenberg AFB this evening at 7:21 PDT. The mission's main goal is to gather soil moisture information.

The SAOCOM launch marks SpaceX's 17th launch of the year.

The satellite will be operated by Argentina's space agency, known as the National Commission on Space Activites or by its Spanish-language acronym, CONAE.

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