This day in tech history, SpaceX lands a rocket

Falcon 9 rocket taking off from Cape Canaveral in Florida

It’s already been a year since SpaceX landed a Falcon 9 rocket vertically. While this isn’t the first time SpaceX has landed a rocket, this was notable because the rocket they landed didn’t just go straight up and straight down like in previous tests. This time the rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, went into orbit, and then landed in almost the exact same spot on a target that was around the size of a football field. In comparison this would be like throwing a dart at a dartboard from 50 yards away, and then hitting the center.

Another special thing about this launch was that SpaceX live streamed it all, from liftoff to touchdown on YouTube for anyone to watch. A recording of the stream can be found on YouTube here: ORBCOMM-2 Full Launch Webcast. The stream started at 7:29, and it lasted a full 45 minutes until the rocket returned to earth, successfully landing less than a few miles away from where it took off.


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