A SpaceX rocket soared into a clear blue sky along the Central Coast of California Wednesday after lifting off from Vandenberg Space Force Base.
The rocket carried another satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.
Depending on visibility, Vandenberg launches can often be spotted across Southern California, although more dramatically during evening hours. Beautiful clear blue skies and California's coastal mountains offered a stunning backdrop for Wednesday's midday launch.
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Video from the first-stage landing offered views of the California coast and Channel Islands. The first stage landed back on Earth near the base and will be used in future launches.
The launch was the second of three planned this week by SpaceX. On Monday, the company launched an Italian Earth-observation satellite, dubbed COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2, from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket used in that launch was also successfully returned to Earth, landing back at Cape Canaveral.
On Thursday, at 9:51 a.m. California time, SpaceX is scheduled to launch another Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral, this time carrying a batch of 49 satellites as part of the company's growing Starlink broadband-internet array.
The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket being used in Thursday's launch has flown five previous missions, and SpaceX will attempt to recover it again, landing the rocket booster on a droneship named "A Shortfall of Gravitas'' and floating in the Atlantic Ocean.