SpaceX successfully landed its Falcon 9 rocket last night in a major step toward more affordable private space travel.
Falcon 9 launched, flew into space, and then came back to earth and landed. This method of launch saves an incredible amount of money, because instead of launching a rocket and losing it, the owner – in this case SpaceX – and put a new payload on the rocket and launch again. One day, this is the way we might send astronauts to space stations, launch satellites and more.
Beyond the incredible engineering scope of such a project is the beauty in which the rocket actually lands itself. We saw that last night, but there’s now an incredible video, filmed by SpaceX, that shows the landing from a helicopter. Watch as Falcon 9 gently puts itself right back on the ground.
Incredible stuff, once reserved for the pages of great science fiction novels.