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SpaceX Has Successfully Landed A Rocket For The First Time

The spaceflight company landed a reusable rocket stage Monday in Florida. This is a big fucking deal.

Posted on December 21, 2015, at 10:15 p.m. ET

Private spaceflight company SpaceX successfully landed a reusable rocket stage Monday for the first time.

SpaceX

The Falcon 9 rocket stage propelled a payload of satellites about 62 miles into space before the second stage took over. The first stage then landed safely on the ground directly on target.

SpaceX

Reusable rocket stages are a crucial step in making private space operations more cost effective, according to the company.

The first stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket returns to land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Joe Skipper / Reuters

The first stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket returns to land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

SpaceX has gotten close before, but until today they hadn't stuck the landing.

SpaceX
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SpaceX competitor Blue Origin recently performed a similar landing successfully, but this landing was from a much lower altitude.

Musk was understandably elated:

11 satellites deployed to target orbit and Falcon has landed back at Cape Canaveral. Headed to LZ-1. Welcome back, baby!

Long exposure of launch, re-entry, and landing burns

Check out the glorious landing and raucous celebration here:

View this video on YouTube

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