Sonic booms from SpaceX rocket prompt 911 calls

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from space launch complex 40 at Cape Canaveral, Florida with a Dragon CRS9 spacecraft on July 18, 2016. © Bruce Weaver
Sonic booms that occurred when a SpaceX rocket re-entered the atmosphere caused a spike in 911 calls in the Cape Canaveral, Florida area, according to reports.

SpaceX launched its two-stage Falcon 9 rocket early Monday from Cape Canaveral Air Station, directing its Dragon spacecraft toward the International Space Station (ISS) with 5,000 pounds of cargo and supplies. Minutes after liftoff, the rocket's first stage separated and returned to the Cape Canaveral area at 12:53 a.m. local time.

The rocket performed several engine burns to slow its speed, highlighted by loud sonic booms around the Orlando area. Booms during the successful landing triggered several 911 calls, according to local reports.

Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX's vice president, said the two booms are common for shuttle re-entry into the atmosphere.

"I believe it'll be the same thing," he said, according to the Orlando Sentinel, of past and future shuttle attempts to re-enter the earth's atmosphere. "It takes time to get used to it."

Elon Musk’s California-based company has managed to successfully return five boosters, two to the ground and three to a sea-based platform in the Atlantic. However, none of them has been qualified as technically serviceable for a second launch. The first “reusable” booster launch has been announced for this fall.

Dragon is going to perform its approach maneuver to the ISS within the next two days, with the docking planned for July 20.