The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base carrying the SAOCOM 1A and ITASAT 1 satellites, as seen during a long exposure on October 7, 2018 near Santa Barbara, California. After launching the satellites, the Falcon 9 rocket successfully returned to land on solid ground near the launch site rather than at sea. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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SpaceX Executes First Launch and Landing Test in California

The rocket booster refurbishment program has arrived on the West Coast.

SpaceX made company history Sunday, launching and landing in California for the first time. The first-stage booster that landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base marks another landmark in SpaceX’s efforts to lower the costs of its launches.

SpaceX’s refurbishing of Falcon 9 first-stage boosters is a major part of its business plan, and its newly-proven ability to do so in California is a victory for the company. Given that SpaceX has already gone through with 17 launches this year, keeping costs down on individual launches is necessary for the company’s grand vision for future manned space flights.

The Sunday launch saw the rocket land on a platform in the Pacific Ocean, before being eventually returned to the Hawthorne site for maintenance.

Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times