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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying an Argentinian satellite lands back at launch site  

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Elon Musk's SpaceX lands Falcon 9 rocket on West Coast

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket's first stage has landed back at its California launch site after carrying an Argentinian satellite into space.

The primary purpose of Sunday's mission was to place the SAOCOM 1A satellite into orbit, but SpaceX also successfully sent a first stage booster back to Vandenberg Air Force Base for the first time.

SpaceX has previously landed first stage rockets on land after Florida launches but had not done so on the West Coast.

The satellite is the first of two for Argentina's space agency. It carries a high-resolution instrument called a synthetic aperature radar that will be used for emergency management and land monitoring.

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Key Points
  • Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa put down a significant deposit with SpaceX to become the first ever private tourist to fly around the moon on the company's Big Falcon Rocket (BFR)
  • Maezawa wants to take six to eight artists from around the world on the nearly week-long trip.
  • The mission is expected to launch in 2023.