Last June, Elon Musk and Space X suffered a major loss when a Falcon 9 rocket exploded just after launch. Yesterday, it was a very different story.
Workers at the Space X Factory in Southern California cheered as they watched something that NASA's never even attempted. After a Falcon 9 rocket was launched into space, the massive first stage was slowed down… its course was reversed, and it was landed vertically at the launch site in Florida. Phil Plait says his heart was pounding. He's an astronomer who writes the "Bad Astronomy" blog for Slate.
Long-exposure photo of the launch, re-entry and landing burns of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, December 21, 2015.