I found this exchange on the Twitterz. Karoli has lived in Ventura County, California, for several years. It’s just down the coast from Vandenberg Air Force Base, the DoD’s main west coast launch facility. The sight of rockets rising from Vandenberg has been quite common in that part of Southern California for decades. She must not look up at the sky very much.
When I lived in Ventura County back in the early ’80s, I occasionally saw the trails from the test launches for the MX missile program during my evening commute from the San Fernando Valley to Thousand Oaks.
Yesterday’s launch was a SpaceX vehicle carrying multiple satellites to Low Earth Orbit.
Almost all launches out of Vandenberg go due South into polar orbit. Polar orbit launches go from California because the next major landfall is Antarctica, whereas a polar launch from Florida would go over populated areas immediately. Only the Kodiak, Alaska, facility has a longer path over water.