Watch SpaceX’s rocket totally nail its landing

SpaceX successfully launched and landed its reusable Falcon 9 rocket on Monday night.

The rocket deployed 11 ORBCOMM satellites into space and returned to Earth with a smooth touchdown at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The historic launch and landing is the first time a rocket has deployed a payload into orbit and returned without incident.

Reusable rockets could be a boon to the emerging space-travel industry, saving manufacturers significant time and money.

“I think this is a critical step along the way towards being able to establish a city on Mars,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk told reporters on Monday night.

SpaceX

The Falcon 9’s launch and landing this week marked Space X’s fourth attempt to complete the job. In June, it suffered a setback when a Falcon 9 rocket disintegrated during its third attempt.

The successful landing took place in the ocean on an autonomous drone ship, dubbed Just Read The Instructions, that SpaceX built for the occasion.

Last month, after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ company Blue Origin launched a reusable rocket into orbit and landed it again, Musk threw a bit of shade at his rival. Bezos reciprocated on Monday night. 

The full video of the launch and the first stage landing are available to view on YouTube. 

Photo via SpaceX/Flickr (PD)

Selena Larson

Selena Larson

Selena Larson is a technology reporter based in San Francisco who writes about the intersection of technology and culture. Her work explores new technologies and the way they impact industries, human behavior, and security and privacy. Since leaving the Daily Dot, she's reported for CNN Money and done technical writing for cybersecurity firm Dragos.