Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Makes Its First Landing


Landing the rocket Monday was a giant step toward making spacecraft reusable - a longtime quest of Musk and aerospace engineers. In its previous attempts, SpaceX had tried to land the rocket on ocean platforms, but with no success. The landing paves the way for potentially reusing rockets for space launches, which SpaceX and other companies hope will dramatically reduce the cost of gaining access to space.

It landed at the landing site which was about 9.65km (6 miles) south of its launch pad. SpaceX founder, CEO and chief designer Elon Musk described it to reporters as a "revolutionary moment".

Initially, the launch of ORBCOMM satellites was set for Sunday, but SpaceX had postponed the launch in order to improve the chances of a smooth and successful landing.

Mr. Musk has said the ability to return its rockets to Earth so they can be refurbished and re-flown would slash his company's operational costs in the burgeoning and highly competitive private space launch industry.

Brendan Byrne of member station WMFE in Orlando reports that SpaceX plans to resume supply missions to the International Space Station as early as February.



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