The aerospace company, SpaceX, just made history by sending the first orbital rocket into space and landing it back on the ground. Here’s a GIF of the rocket landing below:


This monumental moment marks a critical milestone that SpaceX has been working toward for years and could pave the way for a new era of spaceflight, which runs on reusable rockets — rockets that can fly more than once.

Five years ago, a maneuver like this was unheard of in the spaceflight industry. But now, SpaceX has done something never attempted before by sending an orbital rocket into space and then bringing it back intact.

Orbital rockets are the most powerful types of rockets because they generate enough speed and power to send payloads into orbit around Earth, hence “orbital” rocket. These orbits can range from thousands to tens of thousands of miles above the surface.

Orbital rockets are key to transporting people to deep space or distant destinations like the moon or Mars.

The crowd at SpaceX headquarters went crazy as the rocket touched down. Here’s a picture of the rocket standing upright at the landing site in Cape Canaveral in Florida:

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The immediate benefit of reusable rockets is a drastic decrease in the cost of spaceflight. But the long-term advantage is even more exciting: A fleet of reusable rocket could be used to land on Mars to then launch astronauts off the Martian surface.

When SpaceX plans to reuse this rocket is unclear, but it looks like it’s in great condition for reuse.

As reported by Business Insider