SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket took off on April 8 into space, launched its cargo toward the International Space Station (ISS) and for the first time made a guided descent toward the ocean-based platform where it landed—without missing or tipping over and blowing up.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk said the rocket and its engines will be re-tested 10 times to confirm that all is still functioning. The booster could be re-launched as soon as June 2016.
Customers have indicated a willingness to place their payloads on a reused booster; the key to cheaper access to space is the reuse of components. Landing at sea was an important test for this concept because it opens up a greater number of launch locations and recovery sites for the boosters.
April 15, 2016