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Elon Musk jokes SpaceX rocket a 'nuclear' UFO from North Korea

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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen from Long Beach Calif. more than 100 miles southeast from its launch site Vandenberg Air Force Base Calif. Dec. 22 2017

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on December 22, 2017. To the disappointment of UFO enthusiasts, the object was not an extraterrestrial coming to visit. People as far away as Los Angeles and beyond stopped to see the rocket launch into the sky.

It was the Falcon 9 booster which took off from coastal Vandenberg Air Force Base carrying the latest batch of satellites for the US company Iridium Communications.

Calls came into TV stations as far afield as San Diego, more than 200 miles south of the launch site.

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A SpaceX launch is seen from Altadena on December 22, 2017, in a photo taken by a KTLA viewer. Cars pulled over on freeways so drivers could take pictures. But not everyone heard the news, which compounded the confusion.

While minor panic attacks ensued across the west coast, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk had a little fun with the spectacle and uploaded a video of his rocket to Twitter with the caption "UFO from North Korea". The launch was flawless, and the rocket carried 10 satellites from Iridium Communications into low-Earth orbit.

"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". The array will also include the Aireon aircraft tracking and surveillance system.

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