SAN DIEGO — Did anyone catch a bright plume of smoke gliding through the sunset skies of San Diego County Thursday evening?
Well that wasn’t just your imagination, it was billionaire Elon Musk’s spacecraft engineering company SpaceX’s launching of the Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Santa Barbara County.
The rocket, which lifted off from the base at 6:14:10 p.m. PDT, deployed 52 Starlink satellites into orbit.
Viewers from San Marcos and Carlsbad to Kearny Mesa and Bankers Hill were able to witness the launch.
“With the clear skies this evening, it was easy to see the plume of the SpaceX rocket that launched from (Vandenberg) from San Diego at 614 PM,” the National Weather Service San Diego office tweeted.
The Falcon 9 is the “world’s first orbital class reusable rocket” designed for the reliable and safe transport of people and payloads into Earth orbit and beyond, according to SpaceX. It has tallied a total of 181 total launches, 141 landings and 119 reflights.