Watch: Incredible Videos of SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket That Was Mistaken for UFO

For those who looked up at the stars above Los Angeles, California, on Friday night, there may have been a surprising sight: a bright, flying object leaving a wide, white trail. The mysterious object was not a spaceship sent by distant aliens or an enormous shooting star. It was SpaceX's Falcon 9, a nine-engine rocket that launched out of Santa Barbara County and could be seen for miles around. 

SpaceX The Falcon 9 launches. Courtesy of SpaceX

Tesla created Falcon 9 to be the world's "first fully reusable rocket," according to their website. The rocket is part of Elon Musk's endeavor to make space travel commercially scalable. 

The rocket was carrying 10 iridium satellites into orbit for its 18th and final launch of the year, according to the company's Instagram feed. 

For people in southern California, it was a stellar but eerie show, lighting up the sky above the palm trees as the sun set over the ocean. Viewers were so confused about the rocket that the Los Angeles Fire Department had to put out a statement about it, and the hashtag #Aliens trended on Twitter


Timelapse of last night’s @spacex Falcon 9 rocket launching some iridium NEXT satellites into orbit! Absolutely breathtaking experience to see this happen live. Huge thanks to all of you that shared my work, and to those that recognized my uncredited work and gave me a heads up. If you see someone post someone else’s work, please say something. I planned this shot a long time ago, captured something well beyond my expectations and it sucks seeing it spread so far without credit. Happy holidays earthlings. __ . #way2ill #artofvisuals #aov #hubs_united #superhubs #theimaged #thecreatorclass #illgrammers #moodygrams #agameoftones #fatalframes #killeverygram #createcommune #longexposure_shots #amazing_longexpo #best_timelapse #night_excl #timelapae #canon #canon_photos #primeshots #ourplanetdaily #greatshotz #earthpix #_ #rocket #falcon9 #spacex #instagood @beautifuldestinations @earthpix @ourplanetdaily @artofvisuals

A post shared by Kevin Greene (@thekevingreene) on

For days, social media was flooded with photos, video, and speculation about the strange phenonenon. Videographer Kevin Greene, whose video is shown above, knew about the launch in advance and set up camera equipment to get a particularly stellar shot of the launch.


This weekend, part of California was graced with the spectacle of SpaceX’s final Falcon 9 launch of 2017. There were hundreds of cars along the side of the road and we weren’t able to view the launchpad. It was first time shooting such an event, and I really didn’t know what to expect or how to shoot it (with the exception of doing research online). Luckily there was an Airman hanging out next to us telling me trajectory of previous launches, so I was able to point my camera in the right direction in hopes of proper framing. It was overall a success and I now know what to expect for the next launch I view. @tiffimoto and I had barely made it in time for me to get my gear ready and set up. Definitely worth the drive up! . . . . #spacex #rei #optoutside #rei1440project #nikon #sciencebitch #rocketlaunch #caligrammers #nightphotography #spacexlaunch #falcon9 #reiemployee #nikond800 #astronomy

A post shared by Ernest Lee (@lee.ernest.lee) on

The Falcon 9 and a similar rocket, the Falcon Heavy, already have a page on the SpaceX website listing commercial prices for launches. The Falcon 9 costs $62 million to launch, with discounts for multiple launches. It delivers payloads to space and has launched from California and Florida.