Pacific time. The launch was delayed one day for "pre-flight vehicle checkouts", SpaceX tweeted last week. Musk has also co-founded several successful companies including Tesla, OpenAI, Neuralink, and PayPal. Part of it was from the recovery of the rocket's first-stage booster, which landed back at its launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base, north of Los Angeles, according to the Associated Press.
Taking off at about 19:21 local time (02:21 GMT), the first stage of the rocket returned safely to the air base about eight minutes later.
SpaceX previously accomplished this feat after leaving from Florida but hadn't done so in California or the West Coast until now, Fox News reported. Residents in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties may hear sonic booms.
Landing and refurbishing first-stage boosters is key to SpaceX's plans to decrease launch costs.
But as always, the landing was a secondary objective.
"SAOCOM-1, together with the Italian COSMO-SkyMed X-Band SAR constellation, comprise the Italian-Argentine Satellite System for Emergency Management (SIASGE), a partnership between CONAE and the Italian Space Agency (ASI)", SpaceX officials wrote in a mission description. Most likely this is related to the SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket which launched around 7:30 p.m.
The Falcon 9 can carry a payload of up to 5.5 metric tons.
The first stage, meanwhile, flipped around and re-started three of its nine engines to reverse course and head back toward Vandenberg.
SAOCOM 1A 3,000-kilogram satellite built by INVAP and this deployment was done in conjunction with Argentina's space agency with the objective of radar-imaging the earth. The successful launch marked the company's 17th such mission of the year.