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Over the weekend, Elon Musk’s private space exploration company, SpaceX, finally landed its Falcon 9 reusable rocket on a drone ship at sea in the Atlantic Ocean. The rocket took off from Cape Canaveral, bringing its Dragon cargo capsule up to the International Space Station and safely returning to Earth.
SpaceX has already successfully landed its rocket on dry land but this is its first successful landing at sea after numerous delays. Elon Musk spoke at a press conference alongside NASA after the landing and joked, “what was different about this is that the rocket landed instead of putting a hole in the ship or tipping over."
The successful landing of rockets after they deliver their cargo allows them to be reused and is imperative to the future of private space travel. The ability to use the rockets more than once will drastically cut costs and saves time. Traditionally, rockets were disposed of after returning to Earth.
Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos’s private space enterprise and SpaceX competitor, Blue Origin, has already reused, its rockets but has yet to land them on a moving aquatic target.
In a few years private space companies will be all the rage, with the high society of Earth venturing to the moon instead of Sharm El Sheikh. It also means that humans’ expanse into the cosmos will not be subject to the will of bureaucrats and uninformed voters.