SpaceX launches rocket over San Diego, then sticks the landing

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from a launch pad in Florida

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from a launch pad in Florida

But, no need to fear.

Closely held SpaceX's valuation has climbed to about $28 billion (R417bn) as it racks up successful launches, making it the third-most valuable venture-backed startup in the U.S. after Uber Technologies and Airbnb SpaceX completed a record 18 missions in 2017 and is on track to exceed that number this year.

Lighting up the evening sky, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket streaked away from Southern California, boosting an Argentine environmental satellite into orbit. Any rocket launch is exciting, but SpaceX's Falcon 9 has completed so many missions at this point that yet another satellite delivery is easy to overlook.

SpaceX landed the rocket's first stage at a newly built landing pad called LZ-4 that is located near Vandenberg's SLC-4E launch pad where the rocket took off.

According to BBC News, the Falcon 9 rocket took an Argentina satellite SAOCOM 1A into space after leaving the Vandenberg Air Force Base, which rests along the northwest coast of Los Angeles.

"Sonic boom warning. This won't be subtle" advised SpaceX founder Elon Musk on his Twitter feed on Sunday.

U.S. Air Force officials warned residents of multiple counties across the Golden State earlier this week that they might hear "one or more sonic booms" during the landing attempt.

It marked the first time the company has pulled off its now-signature rocket recovery method on land on the West Coast.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted: "Nope, definitely not aliens".

That almost identical satellite will launch in "the near future", also on a Falcon 9, according to the mission narrator for the Saocom-1A webcast.

SAOCOM 1B is planned to launch next year.

"SAOCOM" is short for "Satélite Argentino de Observación Con Microondas", which is Spanish for "Argentine Microwave-Observation Satellite".

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