Reusable SpaceX rocket lands safely after blasting satellites into space

Reusable SpaceX rocket lands safely after blasting satellites into space

The company's previous attempts, which involved landing the rocket on a floating barge, all ended in failure.

For example, the company flew a prototype called Grasshopper numerous times in 2012 and 2013, bringing the booster back down for soft landings at SpaceX's Texas test site after brief flights that reached a maximum altitude of 2,440 feet (744 meters).

Though SpaceX has been trying a while longer, the Falcon 9 landing is the second landing this year of a reusable rocket - following Blue Origin's successful launch and landing of its own rocket. Landing a first-stage rocket means the craft can be reused for future launches.

The much anticipated launch of 11 small satellites for OrbComm, a New Jersey company, had been repeatedly delayed as SpaceX employees worked through glitches with the upgraded rocket.

Monday's event is the first launch of the Falcon 9 rocket since a failed mission to the International Space Station in June. Welcome to the club!

SpaceX finally guided a reusable rocket safely back to Earth after liftoff on Monday.

Before Monday's launch, weather and some other issues delayed the launch and lading attempt, but SpaceX launched Falcon 9 rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Monday evening without a hitch.

Speaking to the press following the Falcon 9's landing, Musk said: "It's a revolutionary moment". They cheered at full throttle when the first stage separated cleanly two minutes into flight and reoriented itself for an unprecedented return to Cape Canaveral. Most of the equipment used to put cargo or people in orbit is destroyed after each use.

But Musk, who is also CEO for the electric auto company Tesla, has not taken his eyes off his ultimate goal: a human mission to Mars. The 11 satellites launched via Falcon 9 yesterday join an existing 31 already in orbit, including six that Falcon 9 launched in 2014.

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