‘It looked fake’: SpaceX rocket tears across southern Utah sky

ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) — Angelica Ruiz and Ruby Ramirez were chatting in St. George on Monday when they saw a SpaceX rocket blaze across the evening sky.

“It looked fake,” Ramirez said, adding that she didn’t immediately realize what it was.

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The Utah Tech students quickly checked their phones and figured out the rocket was connected to tech billionaire Elon Musk, who owns SpaceX.

The California-based company said it launched its Falcon 9 reusable rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base near Santa Barbara, California, around 8:30 p.m. Mountain Time.

The spacecraft was carrying a payload of 22 Starlink internet satellites.

A SpaceX rocket marks the twilight sky over Washington, Utah on March 18, 2024.
A SpaceX rocket marks the twilight sky over Washington, Utah on March 18, 2024. (Courtesy of Dale Gibson)

Like previous Falcon 9 launches, the rocket left a plume of white smoke across the southwestern sky, visible in California, Nevada, Arizona, and southern Utah.

The Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket with a booster that separates mid-flight and lands back on earth. This mission marked the 10th flight for this particular booster, SpaceX said.

Ruiz, one of the college students, said seeing the rocket out of the blue was impressive and inspiring. Ramirez, her friend, said next time she hopes to have her camera ready.

“I wish I took a photo,” she said.

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