SpaceX: Watch Falcon 9 rocket make historic vertical landing in Florida

SpaceX: Watch Falcon 9 rocket make historic vertical landing in Florida

SpaceX sent a rocket soaring toward orbit Monday night with 11 small satellites, its first mission since an accident last summer.

This launch was also the first time SpaceX has flown since June, after one of its Falcon 9 rockets exploded en route to the International Space Station.

On previous failed attempts, SpaceX tried to return its reusable rocket stage to a floating landing pad. SpaceX attempted a second precision landing later in April 2015 on water, and the rocket impressively came within 10 meters of its target.

Ironically enough, SpaceX founder Elon Musk noted that the Falcon 9 that landed on Monday night will never actually be reused on another mission.

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.

The rocket was carrying 11 communication satellites into low Earth orbit, but it was the landing that made history.

Even Jeff Bezos was impressed enough to tap out a tweet, an achievement nearly as monumental as the rocket landing itself as it was only his fifth post in seven years.

Other reusable space craft have previously landed back on Earth, including the Space Shuttle and manned capsules, but no rocket has been able to survive the process.



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