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Latest Falcon 9 rocket launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base lights up social media

Latest Falcon 9 rocket launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base lights up social media
A Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Friday, March 30, 2018. (Matt Hartman / AP)

If you look up in the sky off the California coast Friday morning and see a looping swirl of white gas, don't worry, it's just the latest launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

That long, fading contrail line in the sky above Central California can mean only one thing: a rocket launch.

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At 7:13 a.m., SpaceX launched its latest Falcon 9 rocket hauling 10 commercial satellites from Vandenberg Air Force base. The launch was originally set for Thursday but was delayed to allow the satellite operator's team to work on an issue with one of the satellites.

This was operator Iridium Communications Inc.'s fifth launch with SpaceX. The McLean, Va., company is launching satellites in batches of 10 to eventually create a constellation of 75 satellites.

According to the National Weather Service, outside of a thick blanket of fog along the coastline, the skies were clear across most of Central and Southern California with little wind, allowing the rocket's contrail line to remain visible long enough for it to be captured on countless social media posts.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Friday, March 30, 2018, carrying 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Friday, March 30, 2018, carrying 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit. (Len Wood / AP)

Times staff writer Samantha Masunaga contributed to this report.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.

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