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SpaceX Falcon 9 Mistaken For UFO, Brilliant Advertising Scheme

Falcon 9 Launch.SpaceX/Flickr

The new space race has undoubtedly become one between private companies rather than entire countries. SpaceX is currently in the lead and on Friday, December 22nd, it ignited an internet firestorm by launching a Falcon 9 rocket over California. It was such an unusual sight that a lot of people actually thought it was a UFO, producing a new kind of interest for the company.

As Newsweek notes, numerous videos of the event were posted on social media on Friday night when the Falcon 9 rocket launched over Los Angeles, California. The spectacular sight sparked a flurry of activity on the internet, with many asking what the trail and lights could possibly be.

Many thought that it was an alien spacecraft while some postulated the possibility of North Korea finally launching a missile targeting the U.S., but it was none of those. Eventually, the misunderstanding was cleared up, with government services like the Los Angeles Fire Department being forced to issue a statement explaining that it was just a rocket launch to calm citizens.

To be fair, the launch did produce an eerie and hauntingly beautiful spectacle of lights. To those who didn’t know about the launch in advance or are not used to seeing rockets flying into space, it’s understandable to conclude that it could be a UFO.

The rocket was also visible for miles around, with even those in Arizona getting treated to the show, Space.com reports. As far as marketing goes, this is a brilliant move on the part of SpaceX.

While Elon Musk’s private space company might rule the roost right now, it’s mostly rocket enthusiasts, technophiles, journalists, and financial experts who have a keen interest in what it is doing. For the majority of Americans, or indeed the world, SpaceX is not particularly engaging. This event might have changed that.

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