A mysterious light appeared in the sky above California and surrounding areas last night.
A quick Google search shows SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, bringing satellites to low-Earth orbit, but some people are still convinced it had to be aliens.
— Chris Kidder (@ChrisKidderCRE) December 23, 2017
LIGHTS IN THE SKY
We’re being invaded right now by an alien extraterrestrial civilization!
— Marcio Aleks (@marcioaleks) December 23, 2017
The lights from the rocket launch were visible at least as far as Arizona, and people there thought aliens were invading, as well.
All this “alien” nonsense happened despite the fact that the mission was well-publicized by SpaceX, which posted about the rocket before its launch and hosted a live webcast with plenty of information for inquiring minds (including the exact time of the planned launch).
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will deliver 10 satellites to low-Earth orbit for Iridium, a global leader in mobile voice and data satellite communications. This is the fourth set of 10 satellites in a series of 75 total satellites that SpaceX will launch for Iridium’s next generation global satellite constellation, Iridium® NEXT. SpaceX is targeting launch of Iridium-4 from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The instantaneous launch window is at 5:27 p.m. PST on Friday, December 22, or 1:27 UTC on Saturday, December 23. The satellites will begin deployment about an hour after launch.
The worst part of all this is that, after several media outlets published articles debunking the alleged alien sightings and highlighting the SpaceX launch, many people who saw the lights clung tightly to their extra-terrestrial fantasies.
Overall, this is something that shouldn’t even be a question. There is demonstrable proof that this was a terrestrial launch, and not an alien craft or even a UFO. Anyone with a computer should be able to verify this was a SpaceX launch, and even follow a video of it directly from the company.
More importantly, however, this is a sign that private rocket launches are becoming even more commonplace. We’ll have to get used to these strange lights in the sky if we want to allow organizations to launch their own vessels into orbit, which will inevitably help us learn even more about space and Earth.