SpaceX successfully lands its Falcon 9 rocket after orbital launch

Image credit Elon Musk via Twitter

USA company SpaceX has successfully landed an unmanned rocket upright, after sending 11 satellites into orbit. His problem? Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket is meant only for suborbital flight.

According to The Washington Post, a Falcon 9 rocket invented to deliver satellites into orbit took off from Cape at 8.29 p.m. on Monday with a payload of 11 commercial communications satellites.

On June 28, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon spacecraft filled with cargo for the International Space Station exploded a few minutes after lift-off.

Some stunning footage and photos of the feat have already hit the Web - SpaceX posted a video shot from a helicopter showing a close-up view of the perfect landing, while SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted a stunning long-exposure shot (below) showing the Falcon 9's round trip. The company led by billionaire Elon Musk is striving for reusability to drive launch costs down and open up space to more people.

This event potentially heralds an era of more affordable space shipping and travel. This is a critical step along the way toward being able to establish a city on Mars.

The booster-landing zone, a former Atlas missile-launching site, is about 6 miles from the launch pad. He said, the landed booster "placed the exclamation mark on 2015".

All previous attempts from SpaceX to land on a floating landing pad were all unsuccessful.

The patience and hard work of SpaceX engineers have finally paid off, as building a reusable rocket has been the company's main goal since it was founded in 2002. Earlier missions tried to land rockets on unmanned barges and hadn't quite managed to stick the landing.

SpaceX is aiming to revolutionise the rocket industry, which up until now has lost millions of dollars in discarded machinery and valuable rocket parts after each launch.

 

The Falcon 9 launches like any other rocket.

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