SpaceX increased the degree of difficulty for tonight’s Falcon 9 rocket landing attempt at sea after launching a Japanese satellite into a super-high orbit – but the feat came off successfully nevertheless.
The California-based company’s billionaire founder, Elon Musk, downplayed the odds of success before the launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 10:21 p.m. PT (1:21 a.m. ET Friday). “Rocket re-entry is a lot faster and hotter than last time, so odds of making it are maybe even, but we should learn a lot either way,” he tweeted.
Moments after the Falcon 9’s first stage landed on a drone ship, hundreds of miles out in the Atlantic Ocean, Musk tweeted just one word.