The American Rocket company SpaceX made the first successful landing of the first stage of its Falcon9 launch vehicle on December 21, 2015. The rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral, in Florida, carrying 11 satellites. After the first stage separated, the second stage went on to place the satellites in orbit, while the first stage returned to a vertical landing just 10 kilometers (6 miles) from where it was launched.
SpaceX earlier had tried twice unsuccessfully to land the first stage on an unmanned drone ship. Elon Musk, SpaceX’s CEO, projected that by landing the first stage for later reuse, the cost of sending satellites to orbit would become much cheaper. In November 2015 Blue Origin did a vertical landing of the rocket for its suborbital spacecraft New Shepard. Nevertheless, the SpaceX landing marks a milestone because the Falcon 9 first stage is much larger than that of New Shepard.
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