SpaceX joins Blue Origin as the only space exploration organizations to successfully land a rocket intact after it had been launched. The landing Monday night was the first time SpaceX tried to return the Falcon 9 to a target on land. The previous attempt in June had met with failure, as the rocket exploded two minutes after lifting off due to a strut breaking from the force of the rocket's acceleration. It remains to be known if the Falcon 9 is reusable after its landing. "It's a revolutionary moment", Musk told media after the landing.
In a seemingly back-handed compliment to SpaceX, Mr. Bezos tweeted a message of congratulations to Mr. Musk's company, saying: "Welcome to the club!" Multiple space companies were competing to achieve this breakthrough, but SpaceX is the first to succeed in landing a rocket for a non-suborbital trip.
Video images were soon cut off and the SpaceX live webcast returned to its commentators, who described the successful deployment of the rocket's payload of 11 satellites for ORBCOMM.
Elon Musk attends the SpaceX Commercial Launch Facility on September 22, 2014. However, Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is capable of launching cargo into orbit.
"I think we'll probably keep this one on the ground", Musk said, according to The Verge, "just [because] it's kind of unique, it's the first one we've brought back". The rocket landed successfully in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The first stage of the rocket then fired three "boostback burns" to realign with the Earth and make its way back to the landing pad.
Many rockets use multiple stages, or engine sets, to reduce weight during launch. Last month, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin announced that its New Shepard rocket touched down earth safely. The satellites will facilitate wireless communication for Orbcomm subscribers.