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Sunday night SpaceX launch causes unusual sight across Coachella Valley sky

Launch seen throughout Coachella Valley

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Many people across Coachella Valley and Southern California saw an unusual sight in the sky Sunday night.

So what was it that caused the spectacular light show? According to the Vandenberg Air Force Base, it was a rocket. More specifically: the SAOCOM 1A satellite on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Space Launch Complex-4E at 7:21 p.m. PDT.

According to officials, "SpaceX is attempting the secondary mission of landing the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket at Landing Zone 4, which was previously called SLC-4W, at Vandenberg Air Force Base." This will be the first land landing attempt for SpaceX at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

A launch in December of 2017 caused a similar phenomenon in the night sky.   

What local residents were seeing was the first stage of the Falcon 9 returning to Vandenberg AFB, including multiple engine burns occurring in connection with the landing of the craft. Residents from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo were warned they might hear one or more "sonic booms." 



For more information regarding the launch, click here. 

Did you see the launch? Send your pictures and video to KESQ News Channel 3 using the SHARE function on the news app, or email We may use them on air or online.



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