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article imageSpaceX puts on light show with last rocket launch of 2017

By Karen Graham     Dec 23, 2017 in Technology
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has grabbed the public's attention again - This time giving southern California residents an early evening light show worthy of an alien invasion movie with the final 2017 launch of a Falcon 9 rocket.
The spectacular light show was visible to millions of spectators across southern California last night, causing hundreds of calls to 911 and setting Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on fire with images.
What people were seeing was the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched into space from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base north of Los Angeles at 5:27 p.m. PST (8:27 p.m. EST/0127 GMT). Falcon 9 carried 10 Iridium NEXT communications satellites into low-earth orbit.
The satellites were deployed successfully an hour after the initial launch. Iridium NEXT plans to update its satellite system with 75 new satellites by mid-2018. Iridium says it hopes to deliver “fast speeds and higher through puts for…aviation, maritime, Internet of Things, terrestrial and government organizations,” according to a press release.
Garrett Reisman
And while the launch went exactly as planned, it did create a breath-taking and for a few people, scary experience. Hundreds of people in Los Angeles called authorities wondering what the bright, white light and expanding cloud could be. It got so bad that the Los Angeles Fire Department went as far as to warn, "mysterious light in the sky is reported to be as a result of Vandenburg Air Force Base launching a rocket to put a satellite into space."
Of course, Elon Mush couldn't resist joking on Twitter himself, loving the chatter the launch had created, Tweeting "Nuclear alien UFO from North Korea." About 10 minutes later, Musk tweeted a short promo of January's launch of Falcon Heavy - "If you liked tonight’s launch, you will really like Falcon Heavy next month: 3 rocket cores & 3X thrust. 2 cores return to base doing synchronized aerobatics. 3rd lands on drone-ship."
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More about Spacex, light show, Southern california, Alien invasion, Satellite launch
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