What was that bright light in the sky? A rocket

SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket and satellite into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base Sunday, lighting up the sky—and social media.

SpaceX planned to land the rocket booster 100 miles west of Los Angeles. The lift-off came at its scheduled time of 7:21 p.m.

SpaceX also successfully handled a separation of the rocket stages in flight.

Booms from the Falcon 9 booster’s re-entry into the atmosphere were predicted to shake the Pacific Coast as far southeast as Ventura County, but officials said the noise pattern cannot be accurately predicted given varying upper-atmospheric weather patterns.

This will mark the first time SpaceX has attempted a ground landing of the Falcon 9 on the West Coast. Previous re-capture missions from Vandenberg have landed the rocket on a barge floating in the Pacific Ocean, about 400 miles out to sea.

SpaceX launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base October 7, 2018. The satellite was deployed about 12 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is SpaceX’s first attempt and successfully landing on the West Coast. Photo by Thomas R Cordova

SpaceX launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base October 7, 2018. The satellite was deployed about 12 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is SpaceX’s first attempt and successfully landing on the West Coast. Photo by Thomas R Cordova

SpaceX launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base October 7, 2018. The satellite was deployed about 12 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is SpaceX’s first attempt and successfully landing on the West Coast. Photo by Thomas R Cordova

SpaceX launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base October 7, 2018. The satellite was deployed about 12 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is SpaceX’s first attempt and successfully landing on the West Coast. Photo by Thomas R Cordova

SpaceX launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base October 7, 2018. The satellite was deployed about 12 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is SpaceX’s first attempt and successfully landing on the West Coast. Photo by Thomas R Cordova

SpaceX launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base October 7, 2018. The satellite was deployed about 12 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is SpaceX’s first attempt and successfully landing on the West Coast. Photo by Thomas R Cordova

SpaceX launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base October 7, 2018. The satellite was deployed about 12 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is SpaceX’s first attempt and successfully landing on the West Coast. Photo by Thomas R Cordova

SpaceX launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base October 7, 2018. The satellite was deployed about 12 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is SpaceX’s first attempt and successfully landing on the West Coast. Photo by Thomas R Cordova

SpaceX launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base October 7, 2018. The satellite was deployed about 12 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is SpaceX’s first attempt and successfully landing on the West Coast. Photo by Thomas R Cordova

SpaceX launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base October 7, 2018. The satellite was deployed about 12 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is SpaceX’s first attempt and successfully landing on the West Coast. Photo by Thomas R Cordova

SpaceX launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base October 7, 2018. The satellite was deployed about 12 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is SpaceX’s first attempt and successfully landing on the West Coast. Photo by Thomas R Cordova

SpaceX launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base October 7, 2018. The satellite was deployed about 12 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is SpaceX’s first attempt and successfully landing on the West Coast. Photo by Thomas R Cordova

SpaceX launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base October 7, 2018. The satellite was deployed about 12 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is SpaceX’s first attempt and successfully landing on the West Coast. Photo by Thomas R Cordova

SpaceX launch of the SAOCOM 1A satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base October 7, 2018. The satellite was deployed about 12 minutes after launch. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is SpaceX’s first attempt and successfully landing on the West Coast. Photo by Thomas R Cordova

 

 

City News Service contributed to this report.

 

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