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Source: Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

SpaceX Launch Lights Up The California Night Sky—And Dazzles Spectators

By Vanessa Nix Anthony

A SpaceX rocket launch lit up the California sky last night, and viewers were awestruck.

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base last night at 7:21 p.m. local time, delivering Argentina's SAOCOM-1A Earth-observation satellite to orbit, according to

Just 8 minutes later, after launching the satellite, the rocket made a successful return to the Earth's surface via a landing zone about a quarter of a mile away from the launch site (as opposed to out at sea)—the first West Coast land landing of an orbital class rocket booster, according to SpaceX.

Offering live commentary during the launch, SpaceX firmware engineer Tom Praderio said: 

This is great news for everyone here at SpaceX. We're all very excited.