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SpaceX Falcon 9 completed second safe landing on ground this morning

by Todd Haselton | July 18, 2016July 18, 2016 4:30 pm PDT

Earlier this morning, SpaceX successfully completed a safe landing of the Falcon 9 rocket after launching, deploying a payload toward the International Space Station, and returning to earth. The rocket did not attempt to land on a floating barge, as has been the case in earlier tests. It successfully completed a landing on a barge back in April. This is the second time Falcon 9 has launched and returned to the ground for a successful landing.

The Falcon 9 launch was tasked with deploying a payload – the Dragon capsule – to deliver more than 4,400 pounds of new supplies and a future docking system to the International Space Station, CNET explained. A beautiful picture published by SpaceX shows the Dragon on its way to the Space Station while the Falcon rocket makes its way back to earth.

This might sound relatively boring; rockets have been launching and deploying payloads for longer than many of us have been alive. But SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is much different in that it has the ability to return to the launch pad, ready to launch again in a small window of time. In fact, Elon Musk said earlier this morning that “post-landing inspection and all systems look good” already, which means it’s “ready to fly again.”

That’s unprecedented.

Elon Musk CNET

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...