A SpaceX rocket carrying a Spanish satellite created a brief light show over Southern California after blasting off from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The Falcon 9 rose above coastal clouds into the dawn sky Thursday and arced southward over the Pacific Ocean west of Los Angeles.
Southern Californians had been hoping for a repeat of the spectacle that occurred Dec. 22 when a Falcon 9 lifted off at twilight during exceptionally clear weather, triggering a social media storm.
Shortly after liftoff, Spain’s PAZ satellite successfully entered orbit. The satellite carries an instrument to make radar images of the Earth for government and commercial purposes.
Secondary test satellites for a proposed space-based internet system were to be released later.