A SpaceX rocket lands at Cape Canaveral.

Courtesy Photo

A SpaceX rocket lands at Cape Canaveral.

Can SpaceX Stick the Landing at Vandenberg?

Rocket Will Attempt First West Coast Landing This Sunday

[Update: October 4, 2018, 8 a.m.] Vandenberg officials announced the launch will be delayed on Wednesday afternoon, after the Indy went to press. Another 24 hours is needed to complete a pre-flight check that does not involve the rocket or payload. The new date and time is Sunday, October 7, at 7:21 p.m.

[Original Story] The latest launch of a SpaceX rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base likely has CEO Elon Musk crossing his fingers that it can stick the first-ever landing on the Pacific coast. A Falcon 9 rocket blasts off on Saturday from Lompoc to take an Argentine SAOCOM-1A satellite into orbit, where it will produce high-resolution images of Earth. After deployment, the Falcon will then return within minutes to a pad 0.3 miles away from the launchpad, according to

SpaceX has successfully completed two landings at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The Vandenberg landing would see the same core reused after a July flight that landed on the Just Read the Instructions autonomous spaceport drone ship. The core has since been refurbished and returned to duty.

Vandenberg Air Force Base issued a warning to Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties that the multiple engine burns and return of the Falcon 9 rocket could cause numerous thunderous sonic booms. The blastoff is planned to begin on Saturday, October 6, at 7:21 p.m. More information and viewing sites are at Vandenberg’s 30th Space Wing Facebook page.

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