SpaceX’s rocket landings are back and better than ever.
After a months long dry spell, SpaceX just completed its latest and greatest rocket landing on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean after launching a satellite to orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 1:50 a.m. EDT.
The rocket’s first stage touched down on the SpaceX drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” (yes, that’s what it’s called), shortly before 2:00 a.m. and less than 9 minutes in total after the initial liftoff. You can see the start of the landing at around the 23-minute mark in the video below, but the feed cuts off before the rocket actually enters the scene.
The landing marks one of the first landings and launches of the company’s newest, upgraded Falcon 9 rockets, called Block 5.
Before this launch, SpaceX got rid of a backlog of their Block 4 rockets by launching without landing them back on Earth. That type of launch without landing is the traditional way of getting things to orbit, but SpaceX managed to change that.
The whole point in the company’s rocket landings hinge on the fact that it could reduce the cost of flying to orbit.
By reusing rocket stages for multiple launches, it could drive down the exorbitant cost of flying to space for companies and nations around the world.
SpaceX has been killing it the past couple years.
The company — founded by Elon Musk — launched 18 times in 2017.
This year, the Elon Musk-founded company launched its maiden voyage of the huge Falcon Heavy rocket, which is effectively three Falcon 9 boosters strapped together.