SpaceX launched a Dragon cargo capsule today with an expandable module for the International Space Station, and then successfully landed the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on an oceangoing platform.
The Atlantic Ocean landing, accomplished after four not-quite-successful attempts, was greeted by wild cheering at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. “USA! USA!” they chanted.
“This is a really good milestone for the future of spaceflight,” SpaceX’s billionaire CEO, Elon Musk, told reporters afterward at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. “It’s another step toward the stars.”
It was also the capper for a remarkable comeback.