Social media was set ablaze Friday night as people frantically speculated about a mysterious bright light that flashed across the sky in Southern California.
The flying object was no UFO, however.
SpaceX conducted its 18th launch of the year, sending a Falcon 9 rocket off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara county to deliver satellites into low orbit.
Around 5:30 p.m. PST Californians took to Twitter to share photos and videos of the launch offering their own conspiracies as to what they might be witnessing.
A New York Times report last week found that the Pentagon had spent millions of dollars investigating unidentified flying objects, better known as UFO’s, which led many on edge to believe this SpaceX launch was actually a UFO.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk joined in on the joke tweeting that it was “definitely aliens” and sharing a video of the launch with the caption “nuclear alien UFO from North Korea.”
It was definitely aliens— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 23, 2017
In a statement, SpaceX explained in detail what the rocket launch was all about.
“On Friday, December 22nd at 5:27 p.m. PST, SpaceX's Falcon 9 successfully lifted off from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, carrying the Iridium-4 mission to orbit," the company said. “This was 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,” the statement continued.”
SpaceX says it on its website that it seeks to “revolutionize” space travel with the ultimate goal of bringing humans to other planets.