A reused SpaceX Rocket Carried 10 Satellites into orbit from California, leaving behind a trail of mystery and wonder. The Falcon 9 booster lifted off from coastal Vandenberg Air Force Base, carrying the latest batch of satellites for Iridium Communications. The launch in the setting sun created a shining, billowing streak that was widely seen throughout Southern California and as far away as Phoenix.
Is That A UFO!
- The launch left many onlookers fearing it was a UFO or a nuclear bomb attack by North Korea.
- The Los Angeles Fire Department issued an advisory that the "mysterious light in the sky" was from the launch.
- The same rocket carried Iridium satellites into orbit in June. That time, the first stage landed on a floating platform in the Pacific Ocean
- It was the 18th and final launch of 2017, which has contracted to replace Iridium's system with 75 updated satellites.
Trail Of Mystery: The contrail from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen in the sky on Saturday. The launch was more than 200 miles from Apple Valley yet was still brilliantly visible.
SpaceX has made four launches and expects to make several more to complete the job by mid-2018. The Satellites also carry payloads for global real-time aircraft tracking and a ship-tracking service.