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SpaceX rocket launch causes concern across Southern California

Mark Brake/Getty Images(LOMPOC, Calif.) -- Let it not be said that Elon Musk doesn't know how to grab people's attention.

The SpaceX founder captured much of the southwest portion of the country's attention by accident on Friday night when his company launched its Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California.

The rocket was carrying 10 low-orbit satellites from Iridium Communications. The launch went exactly as planned.

Well, except for all the fears of an alien invasion.

Hundreds of people in Southern California called authorities in fear of what the bright, white streak and expanding "cloud" in the sky could be. The Los Angeles Fire Department went as far as to warn that a "mysterious light in the sky is reported to be as a result of Vandenburg Air Force Base launching rocket to put satellite into space."

Musk joked about the UFO fears on Twitter, reveling in the chatter.

Of course, he also took the opportunity to promote his next launch -- because what kind of billionaire businessman would he be otherwise?

But more than stoking fears, the launch gave people a chance to fill up their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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