SpaceX lights up Central Coast sky while landing first rocket at Vandenberg AFB


Hundreds of spectators gathered outside of Lompoc while countless other people watched and took photos and videos from up and down the California Coast Sunday evening as SpaceX completed its first landing of an orbital-class rocket booster at Vandenberg Air Force base.

At 7:21 p.m., the Falcon 9 rocket took off from Vandenberg carrying the Argentine satellite SAOCOM 1A. Shortly later, the Falcon 9 delivered the satellite into low-earth orbit, and about eight minutes following the launch, the rocket booster landed at Vandenberg’s Landing Zone 4.

The occasion marked the 30thsuccessful landing of a rocket booster, but the first on the West Coast for SpaceX. The rocket landed safely.

Between the launch and landing, spectators were greeted to a light show that numerous observers described as consisting of UFO-like images in the sky. In addition to the colorful display of lights, the event included a sonic boom.