Wow! SpaceX lands rocket at sea after launch

Image: SpaceX Falcon 9 booster
The first stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket stands erect on a drone ship after landing. (Credit: SpaceX)

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.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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