The rocket's previously flown first stage then flipped around and returned to the Vandenberg Air Force Base launch site, chalking up SpaceX's first West Coast landing.
The Falcon 9, now on base at California's SpaceX launch pad will take off on Sunday night at 7:21 p.m. PT, with a mission to launch an Argentinean Earth-observing satellite into orbit, and then touch back down in a new landing zone located just a quarter mile away from takeoff, Wired reported.
Southland residents were treated to a spectacular sight Sunday night as SpaceX launched a satellite into space and landed the rocket back to Earth on Californian soil for the first time in the company's history.
During the landing attempt residents from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties were warned that they may hear one or more sonic booms.
But as always, the landing was a secondary objective.
Mattis: US relations with China not worsening
Mattis this week acknowledged "tension points" between the US and China, but told reporters he did not "see it getting worse". Navy appear to show the Chinese warship pulling in front of USS Decatur , which veered off to avoid a crash .
SAOCOM 1A 3,000-kilogram satellite built by INVAP and this deployment was done in conjunction with Argentina's space agency with the goal of radar-imaging the earth.
The Air Force said before the 7:22 p.m. launch that it expected that people as far away as Sacramento and Southern California would see the rocket's contrail. This may include multiple engine burns.
Saocom-1A has an L-band payload created to study soil moisture for agriculture, disaster monitoring and scientific research.
SpaceX has a second CONAE satellite, Saocom-1B, that it is also tasked with launching. There's no specified launch window, and that could force SpaceX to move liftoff to October 11th if it has to scrub the launch on the 7th.
SpaceX has a goal of using the boosters up to ten times with little maintenance, and 100 with refurbishment, as well as being able to relaunch boosters 24 hours after landing.