On Monday, the aerospace company SpaceX made history by launching its most powerful rocket to date and then landing the first stage of that rocket back on the ground for reuse.
SpaceX has been working toward this moment for years, and they weren’t about to miss the action. They filmed it with multiple cameras, including from a helicopter, shown below:
Here’s another shot from farther away:
This moment marks a critical milestone for SpaceX and could pave the way for a new era of spaceflight that runs on reusable rockets, or rockets that can fly more than once.
For comparison, earlier landing attempts by SpaceX were performed on drone ships floating offshore from the launch site. Here’s what the last drone ship landing attempt looked like:
The ability to send payloads, and eventually people, into space with reusable rockets is something never attempted before in spaceflight — it’s something that humans have never seen before and it’s spaceflight history in the making.
Here’s an amazing shot of the booster, fractions of a second before touch down:
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