After four explosive failed attempts to gently land a Falcon 9 rocket on a floating platform at sea, SpaceX has finally succeeded. On Friday afternoon, after launching a cargo capsule filled with astronaut supplies to the International Space Station, the rocket guided itself using GPS to land vertically on the unmanned ship in the Atlantic Ocean. Here’s the victorious image:
The 1st stage of the Falcon 9 just landed on our Of Course I Still Love You droneship. Dragon in good orbit pic.twitter.com/SYyUCDZE3k
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 8, 2016
This is the crucial breakthrough needed to be able to reuse rockets—rather than let them fall into the ocean as trash—after launches, which will save millions of dollars in space transport costs.