Outside the realm of Star Wars and other science fiction, landing a rocket is tricky business. Lots can go wrong between launch and landing–anything from missing the target to exploding midair. Just ask Elon Musk, whose company SpaceX went through four failed attempts before finally landing its Falcon 9 intact on Monday.
But in this spectacular video, the SpaceX team makes the whole thing look effortless.
This is a pretty big deal. Rather than burning up during re-entry as most rockets are designed to do, Falcon 9 and other reusable rockets theoretically only have fuel and maintenance costs to consider for each trip—effectively taking a step toward commercial space travel.DT